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Acetone Category Lab Chemical sold in various quantities of liters and gallons Acetone Category Technical Grade 1-5 Gallon Acetone Category Technical Grade Drums

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General Information  safety  Handling  Disposal

Acetone Handling and Storage

Protect against physical damage. Store in a cool, dry well-ventilated location, away from any area where the fire hazard may be acute. Outside or detached storage is preferred. Separate from incompatibles. Containers should be bonded and grounded for transfers to avoid static sparks. Storage and use areas should be No Smoking areas. Use non-sparking type tools and equipment, including explosion proof ventilation. Containers of this material may be hazardous when empty since they retain product residues (vapors, liquid); observe all warnings and precautions listed for the product.

Acetone should always be handled, stored, and used with precautions against fire and explosion. Acetone is a flammable liquid with flammable limits of 2.6 to 12.8 vol% at 25C.  Solutions of acetone and water can be flammable. Since acetone vapors travel with air currents, they can be ignited by flames and sparks at locations remote from the site at which the material is being handled. Smoking should be prohibited since prolonged exposure to acetone may cause the chemical to remain on clothing.

Appropriate safety gear should always be worn when handling acetone. This includes safety glasses with cup-type side shields or chemical goggles, safety shoes, natural rubber, or neoprene gloves, and hard hat. In unusual or emergency situations when contact with the liquid is necessary or likely, the handler should wear full protective equipment and clothing. All contaminated clothing must be washed before reuse. Protective equipment and clothing should be decontaminated or disposed of according to the manufacturers instructions.

In case of eye contact with acetone, wash with copious amounts of water for at least 15 minutes, occasionally lifting the lower and upper lids. Obtain medical attention promptly. In case of skin contact, wash with water for at least 15 minutes. If inhaled, remove the patient from contaminated atmosphere to fresh air. If not breathing, give artificial respiration, preferably mouth-to-mouth. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen which is administered only by trained personnel. Get prompt medical attention.


Exposure Controls/Personal Protection

Ventilation System:
A system of local and/or general exhaust is recommended to keep employee exposures below the Airborne Exposure Limits. Local exhaust ventilation is generally preferred because it can control the emissions of the contaminant at its source, preventing dispersion of it into the general work area.
Personal Respirators (NIOSH Approved):
If the exposure limit is exceeded and engineering controls are not feasible, a half-face organic vapor respirator may be worn for up to ten times the exposure limit, or the maximum use concentration specified by the appropriate regulatory agency or respirator supplier, whichever is lowest. A full-face piece organic vapor respirator may be worn up to 50 times the exposure limit, or the maximum use concentration specified by the appropriate regulatory agency or respirator supplier, whichever is lowest. For emergencies or instances where the exposure levels are not known, use a full-face piece positive-pressure, air-supplied respirator. WARNING: Air-purifying respirators do not protect workers in oxygen-deficient atmospheres.
Skin Protection:
Wear impervious protective clothing, including boots, gloves, lab coat, apron or coveralls, as appropriate, to prevent skin contact.
Eye Protection:
Use chemical safety goggles and/or a full face shield where splashing is possible. Maintain eye wash fountain and quick-drench facilities in work area.


For the safe storage of acetone, portable tanks not exceeding 660 gallons and containers not exceeding 60 gallons must comply with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Code 30, Chapter 4 and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulation 1910.106. Leaks are difficult to detect in underground tanks but if it is necessary to use such tanks, they must also conform to the above mentioned codes and all federal, state and local regulations.

Acetone is a Class 1 flammable liquid. Bulk storage tanks are not to be located inside buildings unless built in accordance with the process tank provisions of the NFPA code.

The design of storage tanks must conform to the principles of good engineering practice. Tanks can be either horizontal or vertical and in any shape consistent with good design principles. Acetone can be stored in tanks designed for the following pressure ranges and standard:


Atmospheric 0 - 0.5 PSIG API 650
Low Pressure 0.5 - 15 PSIG API 620
Pressure Vessel


>15 PSIG ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code for Unfired Pressure Vessels
Sec. VIII, Div. 1
Floating Roof   API 650

Pressure tanks built according to ASME code are preferred over atmospheric tanks if acetone is to be stored at or near its boiling point (56.2C). In the case of atmospheric tanks, provisions must be made for inbreathing (vacuum relief) and outbreathing (pressure relief) in the form of a combination pressure/vacuum relief valve whose size is based on the vent rates established by NFPA 30, Flammable & Combustible Liquids Code. Tanks should not have steam coils.

Open vents should not be used with acetone since its flash point is below 100F. When designing vents, the minimum for venting that should be used is contained in NFPA 30, Flammable & Combustible Liquid Code. For inbreathing, vacuum relief API 2000 should be used.

Note: The inbreathing sizing as called for in API 2000 is not adequate for the situation where a steam tank is subject to sudden cooling. For most tanks, emergency vents are required to protect against fire exposure. Although protection can be achieved by the use of additional P/V valves,

a gauge hatch or manhole cover that lifts when exposed to abnormal pressure is normally used. Again, tanks used for acetone storage will not usually have steam coils.

It is recommended that tanks larger than 10,000 gallons be equipped with either an internal or an external floating roof to prevent the accumulation and loss of vapor.

Because of the high vapor pressure of acetone (2.5 PSIA at 20C) federal regulations require that tanks larger than 20,000 gallons which were constructed, reconstructed or modified after July 23, 1984 have a floating roof or have a vapor recovery system to minimize emissions.

NOTE: Floating roof tanks need a double closure seal to eliminate the space between the roof edge and wall. The design of floating roof tanks is covered by API Standard 650.

Acetone storage tanks may be painted white to minimize radiational heating by sunlight. Tanks should also not be filled to the top as acetone will expand as temperatures rise in warmer weather.

NOTE: Check for any additional requirements mandated by State or Local regulations.



All storage tank systems should be equipped with instrumentation to monitor temperature and level, as well as a high-level alarm if possible. Centrifugal pumps are preferred for transferring acetone. Avoid using positive displacement type pumps since acetone provides minimum lubrication to the internal parts. Fire safe valves, which can be plug, gate, ball, or other types capable of providing tight shut-off consistent with ANSI Standard B31.3 or ANSI B31.4l, could be used. Plastic valves should not be used since they typically do not provide adequate fire protection and may not be compatible with acetone. Sufficient valves are required to control flow into and discharge from the tank under normal and emergency conditions.

A water spray system may be installed consistent with NFPA 12 since acetone/water mixtures are flammable. All tanks should have connections for the introduction of polar solvent (alcohol) type foam. Floating roof tanks need connections near the seal area.

Electrical equipment used should meet the requirements of the NEC (NFPA 70) Class I, Group D. Additional information can be found in NFPA 30, The Flammable & Combustible Liquids Code and NFPA 497A Recommended Locations for Electrical Installations in Chemical Process Areas, which give the minimum requirements for proper classification.

In dealing with static electricity problems refer to NFPA 77, Recommended Practice on Static Electricity, and NFPA 780, Lighting Protection Code.

In order to minimize problems from static electricity arising from the loading and unloading of acetone, grounding and bonding procedures should be used. (Refer to NFPA 77).

Location of tanks with respect to each other and property lines need to conform with NFPA Standard 30.

Provisions for containment of spills from tanks must also be made in accordance with this standard. An approved fire alarm system is required and a public alarm box is recommended. The number of portable fire extinguishers on hand should be consistent with the particular hazard.



Carbon steel or stainless steel are the preferred materials for construction of tanks, pumps, and piping components. If diacetone alcohol or mesityl oxide are of concern, stainless steel is preferred. Gaskets may be made of expanded TFE or TFE-gylon 3510. Aluminum can be used as the floating roof material. TFE wrapped urethane foam inserted with polypropylene fingers that bolt to the floating roof provide an effective perimeter seal for the roof.

NOTE: Acetone is a solvent for many elastomers. Therefore, the sealing material for a floatiang roof closure must be selected carefully. It is recommended that all construction materials used for equipment or containers be checked for acetone compatibility.



US DOT Hazardous Class: Class 3 - Flammable Liquid, Appendix A (171.101)
US DOT ID Number:  UN 1090
Proper Shipping Description: Acetone, 3, UN 1090, PG II, (RQ 5000)


Loading and unloading facilities should be at least 25 feet from other buildings and warehouses. When loading acetone into rail cars or tank cars, install a vapor recovery system to minimize emissions. In addition, provide grounding and bonding facilities for protection from static sparks while loading and unloading.

Before loading or unloading a bulk delivery always check the storage tank to insure that it has sufficient available space. Monitor the tank level at all times during filling and be prepared to stop the flow immediately if necessary. High level alarms and shutdown may be installed.

Samples should not be taken through the dome immediately after filling.



The volatile properties of acetone make maintenance and inspection procedures especially critical. Personnel should routinely observe for possible leaks from valves, pump fittings, and storage tanks. Inspect all atmospheric tanks internally every 10 years or when operational problems arise. Floating roofs should be inspected every 5 years. Annually compare ultrasonic measurements or tank material thickness to monitor the corrosion rate of the tank walls. It is instructive to conduct a visual inspection of all welds at this time as well. If potential problem areas are observed, tests and/or an X-ray inspection should follow with repairs made accordingly.