Perform a safety audit before starting each chemical experiment in the laboratory. This includes a review of possible hazards from the use of peroxidizable chemicals in the experiment. Peroxidation may have already occurred in one or more of the starting materials; it may occur during the process, or in the storage of the products. In every chemical process, consider the following factors relative to (a) the starting materials, (b) the process itself, and (c) the products:
- Structure – Are peroxidizable structures present or being formed?
- Process conditions – Will the process condition favor initiation of peroxidation and accumulation of peroxides?
- Storage – Will storage containers and conditioners reduce peroxide initiation and accumulation, and are all products properly inhibited and labeled?
If the audit indicates that peroxidation or peroxides are present, follow all the described procedures for handling, testing, and removal from this Chapter.
Peroxidation in a chemical process may not only be a serious hazard due to the explosion potential, but it also may affect the results of an experiment because of lower yield and unwanted impurities. Exercise the precautions outlined in this Chapter to ensure your safety and the success of your experiments.