Incompatible Chemicals

The following is a quick reference of incompatibilities for many chemicals commonly encountered in the laboratory. It is not a comprehensive list of all possible combinations and chemicals. For details on any chemical, check the Safety Data Sheets (SDS).

Chemical Incompatible With
Acetic Acid Chromic acid, ethylene glycol, hydroxyl compounds, nitric acid, perchloric acid, permanganates, peroxides
Acetone Concentrated sulfuric and nitric acid mixtures, hydrogen peroxide
Acetylene Copper (tubing), bromine, chlorine, fluorine, iodine, silver, mercury and their compounds
Alkali metals (e.g. powdered aluminum or magnesium, calcium, lithium, potassium, sodium) Carbon dioxide, carbon tetrachloride, chlorinated hydrocarbons, flammable liquids, oxidizers, salt sulfur, water
Ammonia (anhydrous) Mercury, halogens, calcium hypochlorite, hydrogen fluoride
Ammonium Nitrate Acids, metal powders, flammable fluids, chlorates, nitrates, sulfur, and finely divided organics or combustibles materials
Aniline Nitric acid, hydrogen peroxide, inorganic acids, oxidizers
Bromine Ammonia, acetylene, benzene, butadiene, butane, petroleum gases, hydrogen, sodium carbide, turpentine, and finely divided metals
Chlorates Ammonium salts, acids, metal powders,sulfur, finely divided organics or combustible materials
Chromic acid Acetic acid, naphthalene, camphor, alcohol, glycerol, turpentine, and other flammable liquids
Chlorine Ammonia, acetylene, butadiene, benzene, and other petroleum fractions, hydrogen, sodium carbide, turpentine, and finely divided powdered metals
Cyanides Acids
Hydrocarbons Fluorine, chlorine, bromine, chromic acid, sodium peroxide
Hydrogen Peroxide Copper, chromium, iron, most metals or their respective salts, flammable fluids, and other combustible materials, aniline, and nitromethane.
Hydrogen Sulfide Nitric acid, oxidizing gases
Iodine Acetylene, ammonia (anhydrous or aqueous)
Mercury Acetylene, ammonia, fulminic acid, hydrogen
Nitric Acid Acetic, chromic, and hydrocyanic acids, aniline, hydrogen sulfide, flammable liquids or gases and substances which are readily nitrated
Oxalic Acid Silver, mercury and their salts
Oxygen Oils, grease, hydrogen, flammable liquids, solids and gases
Perchloric Acid Acetic anhydride, bismuth and its alloys, alcohol, paper, wood and other organic materials
Phosphorous Pentoxide Water, alcohols, strong bases
Potassium Permanganate Glycerol, ethylene glycol, benzadehyde, sulfuric acid
Sodium Peroxide Any oxidizable substances (e.g. ethanol, methanol, glacial acetic acid, acetic anhydride, benzaldehyde, carbon disulfide, glycerol, ethylene glycol, ethyl acetate, methyl acetate, furfural)
Sulfuric Acid Chlorates, perchlorates, permanganates, and water