THF can form shock- and heat-sensitive peroxides, which may explode on concentration by distillation or evaporation. Always test samples of THF for the presence of peroxides before distilling or allowing to evaporate. THF should never be distilled to dryness.

Reactivity and Incompatibility

THF can form potentially explosive peroxides upon long exposure to air. THF may react violently with strong oxidizers and reacts vigorously with bromine and titanium tetrachloride. Polymerization can occur in the presence of cationic initiators such as certain Lewis acids and strong protic acids.

Storage and Handling

THF should be handled in the laboratory using the "basic prudent practices" described in Chapter 5.C, supplemented by the additional precautions for dealing with extremely flammable substances (Chapter 5.F). In particular, THF should be used only in areas free of ignition sources, and quantities greater than 1 liter should be stored in tightly sealed metal containers in areas separate from oxidizers. Containers of THF should be dated when opened and tested periodically for the presence of peroxides.

Accidents

In the event of skin contact, immediately wash with soap and water and remove contaminated clothing. In case of eye contact, promptly wash with copious amounts of water for 15 min (lifting upper and lower lids occasionally) and obtain medical attention. If THF is ingested, obtain medical attention immediately. If large amounts of this compound are inhaled, move the person to fresh air and seek medical attention at once.

In the event of a spill, remove all ignition sources, soak up the THF with a spill pillow or absorbent material, place in an appropriate container, and dispose of properly. Respiratory protection may be necessary in the event of a large spill or release in a confined area.

Disposal

Excess THF and waste material containing this substance should be placed in an appropriate container, clearly labeled, and handled according to your institution's waste disposal guidelines. For more information on disposal procedures, see Chapter 7 of this volume.



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