Environmental, Health and Safety Services

Perchloric Acid

  • Building should be of masonry construction.
  • Floors should be concrete or tile. Handling acid on wooden floors is dangerous, especially after the acid has dried. The wooden floor will then become sensitive to ignition by friction.
  • Benches should be constructed or resistant materials (not wood) to prevent acid absorption, especially at the bottom surface, which rests on the floor and would be subject to the greatest exposure from acid spills. Bench tops of resistant and nonabsorbent materials, such as chemical stoneware, tile, epoxy composites, and polyethylene are recommended.
  • Shelves and cabinets made of epoxy-painted steel are highly recommended over wood.
  • Heating sources, such as electric hot plates, electrical or steam-heated sand baths, or a steam bath are recommended for heating perchloric acid. Direct flame heating or oil baths should not be used.
  • Glassware can crack or break due to thermal or mechanical shock. Quartz apparatus should be considered, especially since it is necessary in many experiments to chill rapidly from the boiling point. Rubber stoppers, tubes, or stopcocks should not be used with perchloric acid due to incompatibility.