Storing hydrogen peroxide requires some special precautions. Regardless of the storage method (packed material or bulk), handling system, and use of hydrogen peroxide five basic rules always apply.
What are the general storage and handling recommendations for H2O2?
1. Never confine hydrogen peroxide!
As H2O2, even under stable conditions, constantly releases oxygen gas, completely confining hydrogen peroxide can have dramatic results. Hence proper breathing and overpressure protection must be present on any equipment.
2. Never contaminate H2O2!
Contamination of hydrogen peroxide, in most cases, will result in a rapid, self-accelerating decomposition reaction releasing significant amounts of oxygen gas, heat and steam. This can, even on properly designed storage and handling systems, lead to damage of the equipment, the surroundings of the facility, and personnel injury. Further, ensure construction materials are suitable for your product, as different H2O2 grades have varying requirements.
3. Never contact H2O2!
Always wear proper PPE when working in hydrogen peroxide areas, as exposure can result in acid burns and very quickly in the loss of the eyesight. Hence chemical splash proof goggles are the absolute minimum when near hydrogen peroxide. For the event of any contact the presence of safety showers with eyewash stations in the immediate vicinity is a must.
4. Always ensure cool, shaded, clean, and separate storage of hydrogen peroxide!
With an increase in temperature the stability of H2O2 is negatively affected, as with contamination.
5. Ensure local rules and regulations are fulfilled and adhered to
Due to the worldwide activities of Evonik with hydrogen peroxide listing all relevant rules and regulations in this place is not feasible. However, your local contact will gladly assist you with your needs.
You find more detailed information for your specific product in the corresponding MSDS/SDS, available from your local Evonik representative.
What are other storage conditions for hydrogen peroxide?
When storing and handling packed hydrogen peroxide, the general storage recommendations always apply.
Additionally, the storage area should be designed in a way, so that any potential spills are confined within the hydrogen peroxide area and can be diluted and disposed of in a controlled fashion.
Further, the risk of damaging the packaging during handling, should be minimised by having appropriate handling spaces available, especially when using forklifts or any other power equipment for handling.
To discharge safely from any packaging, it is highly recommended to use an especially for the purpose designed unit, in order to minimise any personnel exposure and spillage risk.
Handling and storage of hydrogen peroxide in bulk follows the same basic principles as listed above.
A proper tank facility should always consist of the two main areas: unloading and storage.
The unloading area should be an area, where spills of hydrogen peroxide can be safely and separately confined, diluted and disposed of, such as a concrete pad.
Even though at typical summer and winter ambient temperatures hydrogen peroxide remains stable and liquid, it is recommended to have at least a weather protection around your hydrogen peroxide tank, such as a shade and rain protection roof. This will also increase your tank and equipment lifetime. Furthermore, an appropriately sized containment for your tank is highly recommended, in most countries it is a legal obligation.
Suitable construction materials for hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) storage and handling systems must be carefully chosen, corresponding to the exact product used. Only certain materials that are non-reactive and do not promote the catalytic decomposition of H2O2 are suitable for the construction of handling and storage equipment. A wide variety of stainless steel types (e.g. 304L or 316L) are preferred materials for storage tanks and piping, particularly in industrial environments. However, pure aluminum, certain aluminum alloys, polyethylene and PVC (for solutions up to 60% H2O2 by weight) can be used for tanks and pipework as well.
The proper preparation of the tank (cleaning, pickling and passivation) prior to the first use is mandatory to ensure product stability.
Evonik has extensive experience in the planning, construction, startup and maintenance of hydrogen peroxide storage and handling systems. We at Evonik would be pleased to assist our customers in the planning and construction of hydrogen peroxide installations.
For any enquiries please do not hesitate to contact your local Evonik hydrogen peroxide handling specialist. Contact details can be found below.