Proper storage of isopropyl alcohol is paramount to negating the hazards associated with it. Because isopropyl alcohol vapours are highly flammable, especially at high concentrations, it is important that it is stored in suitable containers and at a suitable location. There are a few storage options that depend on the concentration of the isopropyl alcohol.
Carbon steel tanks are suitable for anhydrous isopropyl alcohol. Transfer lines can also be made of carbon steel in this case. Non-anhydrous isopropyl alcohol, however, will cause carbon steel to rust. Rust particles can be filtered out, but using a different material is a much better solution.
Stainless steel is much more suitable for lower-concentration isopropyl alcohol. Because there is water in non-anhydrous isopropyl alcohol, rustproof materials such as stainless steel should be used.
Aluminium is suitable for non-anhydrous isopropyl alcohol. However, anhydrous isopropyl alcohol will rust aluminium, especially at higher temperatures. Concentrations below about 95% can be stored in aluminium tanks at normal temperatures.
There are several elastomers suitable for lining tanks and transfer lines. These include EPDM, Butyl, Silicone, and Viton A. Storage tanks and transfer lines made of carbon steel can be lined with these materials. Teflon can be used to seal any screw-fitted connections.
Glass and plastic containers are suitable for short-term or low-volume storage solutions. Small-scale applications such as laboratories make use of sealed brown or clear glass containers. Containers should remain sealed, because isopropyl alcohol evaporates quickly. Such containers should also be stored in a fume hood to prevent the spread of flammable vapours.
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