Chemical Compatibility

Chemical Compatibility – Do My Chemicals Play Nicely Together?

Accidental mixing of one hazardous waste with another may result in a vigorous and dangerous chemical reaction. Generation of toxic gases, heat, possible overflow or rupturing of receptacles, fire, and even explosions are possible consequences of such reactions.

The Chemical Compatibility Chart shows chemical combinations believed to be dangerously reactive in the case of accidental mixing. The chart provides a broad grouping of chemicals with an extensive variety of possible binary combinations.

Generally speaking, an “X” on the chart indicates where one group can be considered dangerously reactive with another group. However, there may be some combination between the groups that would not be dangerously reactive; therefore, the chart should not be used as an infallible guide.

The following procedure explains how the chart should be used in determining compatible information.

  1. Determine the reactivity group of a particular waste.
  2. Enter the chart with the reactivity group that forms an unsafe combination with the chemical in question.

For example, crotonaldehyde is an aldehyde in group 19. The chart shows that chemicals in this group should be segregated from sulfuric acid and nitric acids, caustics, ammonia and all types of amines (aliphatic, alkanol, and aromatic). According to note A, crotonaldehyde is also incompatible with nonoxidizing mineral acids.