Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Vented Chemical Storage Cabinets

horuse10 - 13-8-2021 at 02:27


I have the opportunitie to buy some metal cabinet wich have been intended for archives storage.

I want to use them as chemical storage. I will not store my acids in because i don't want them to corrode. I prefer plastic cabinet for very corrosive things.

But for my organics products, solvents and salts, i thing there would be great.

I think about doing 2 holes in the cabinet. One at the base with an aeration grid and one on the top with a air extractor wich will put the air outside with some air duct.

As I have already 2 lab air extractor, i consider to put some cabinet in serie.

I say that this kind of cabinet will not be "air tight".

Just want to take advice on what would be the necessary air flow en m^3/h to conviniently extract the vapor ?

As i earned lot of chemical in the past years, i just want them to be stored conviniently in a kind of professional way. I'm a little be bore about air tight plastics box full of bottle wich are a pain in the ass to see what you really have.

thank for your ideas :)

WGTR - 13-8-2021 at 05:10

I am not sure what you mean by "archives" storage cabinets. If this is a metal cabinet intended for solvent storage then it should not be vented. If there is a fire in the cabinet then the fire should go out with the doors closed. This also protects the solvents in the cabinet if the room itself is on fire. If it is vented then flame arrestors are needed at the vents and the ventilation should be plumbed from outside. The cabinet also needs to be grounded. There is usually some containment at the bottom of the cabinet to keep flammable liquids from spreading into the room.

Of course for acid storage that is different. Those should be vented to a fume hood, etc.

Sulaiman - 13-8-2021 at 07:18

A steel cabinet can even be corroded by fumes from many common solid chemicals such as
TCCA, Calcium hypochlorite, sodium metabisulphite, iodine,....

Typically shelves will block vertical airflow so holes or slots may help.
Aim to have airflow past everything
eg alternate shelves have holes at opposite ends.

I think that is fair to say that when you store lots of chemicals together
you have to expect fumes, occasional spillages, and unanticipated weird shit happening.
All you have to do is plan for all possibilities, especially the unknown unknowns.

Fyndium - 13-8-2021 at 09:46

TCCA and aluminum equals all aluminum parts coated with thick, granulous surface crap.

horuse10 - 13-8-2021 at 10:34

Thank for responses

WGTR : i’m agree with you but as an amateur i’m morte concern of toxic solvants vapors than in a general fire hazard

Sulaiman : for iodine i always store it in a double container ( glass bottle for the iodine and a plastic one surrounding wich is difficult to break and can contain the inner one if the whole thing fall)

The problem with hole or slot is to ont obstruct them … my idea is to put bottles in plastic tray used as retention

I saw in an afnor norm that air flow as to be at least 10 time the internal volume of the storage per hour

Fyndium - 13-8-2021 at 10:41

Yes indeed, one can control leakage and spillage somewhat with single or dual ziploc bagging.

I use dual ziplocs for all toxic stuff, like mercury, cyanides, etc. My mercury bottle is actually a small glass bottle within padded plastic bottle, which is in dual ziploc.

I use zips also for small parts and stuff to make them more findable, and glassware parts to prevent them clinging together and less prone to cracking.

teodor - 13-8-2021 at 11:39

This type of a cabinet is good for (toxic) salts & oxidisers:
Acids I store under ventilation shafts. Rooms with (gas) heaters always have some passive ventilation. In my case it is located very convenient to put a box just under the holes and allow the air to blow over it (it is just kind of passive ventilation).
Most of organic staff ("solvents") I store in a separate closet in a house but something really very flammable/toxic/stinky in a garage or in an old broken refrigerator outside. I've made a lock on the refrigerator door (it is quite simple to do), so it is used just as a cabinet for something which is not safe to store in any other place (like when you are not sure whether it will explode tonight).
The last addition to my laboratory was CO detector. If you get fire you get CO which can kill you. So, the fire could be more toxic than most solvent vapours.

Herr Haber - 17-8-2021 at 08:25

Dont suck the air out, push it in.

Solvents + sparks = bad day