How to work with Acids
- Always look at the MSDS of the acid you are going to use and the reactant
that you will be using. This will give you information about dangers, what to do
in case of an accident and what can happen if you mix your acid and your reactant.
- Take in consideration what will happen when you are doing your reaction.
E.g.: Sulfuric acid and Hydrogen Peroxide (oxidizer) react violently, the
reaction liberates heat and forms bubbles. If you add the Hydrogen Peroxide
indiscriminately to Sulfuric Acid it will cause an explosion, but if you add it
slowly the reaction will proceed without problems.
- Always add acids to water, never water to acids. Do it slowly.
- Work is to be done during normal working hours (8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) or in the
direct presence of a coworker in the lab.
- When working with acids you must wear Neoprene gloves or Rubber gloves
(Check the MSDS), lab coat, safety glasses, and rubber apron.
- You must work in a ventilated hood and your hood area must be labeled with
your name, date, acids and reactants names.
- Always use Pyrex® glassware as your container. If your mixture is effervescent,
it must be covered at all times.
- When you are done you have to neutralize the mixture with sodium bicarbonate.
The final pH must be between 6-8. When you are doing the addition of the sodium
bicarbonate remember that acids react violently with bases and will liberate heat
and become effervescent. When the mixture has been neutralized (pH 6-8), it can
be disposed of in the sink. Always clean the hood after you are done with
water and sodium bicarbonate.
- The following acids may not be disposed of in the sink, even when they have
been neutralized: Chromic acid (metals) and Formic acid.
- Outside users should not attempt to neutralize acid without the assistance of
an experienced staff member. They may leave the acid in a waste bottle
(follow waste disposal instructions) inside the acid cabinet assigned for waste
acid in lab E132.
- Waste bottles can be use for acid disposal. Do not re-use empty chemical
bottles for waste, even if they previously contained an acid. Waste bottles
must not be filled completely to the top, and the cap must be loose to allow
release of gases. The bottle must be labeled: name, date and composition of
the mixture. If you are using an old waste bottle you must remove the old label
and place a new label on the bottle. Remember that plastic bottles embrittle
with time, never use them to store acids for a long period of time. If you
need to store an acid for a long time talk to Yamali.
- Etching solutions must be stored in a glass container with a cover.
Etchant should never be left uncovered.
- A minor spill can be neutralized with sodium bicarbonate. Major acid
spills must be treated as accidents, in which case the Fire Protection Service
must be called immediately at x2222.
Last modified 29-August-2012 by website owner: NCNR (attn: Jeff Krzywon)