Standard Operating Procedure
Read the EH&S Standard Operating Procedures Fact Sheet before filling out this form.
Print out the completed form and keep a readily accessible hard copy in the lab (also
keeping an electronic copy is highly recommended).
SOP Title: Ammonia
Principal Investigator: Richmond Sarpong
Room and Building: 841A Latimer Hall
Lab Phone Number: (510) 643-2485
Section 1 – Process
Section 2 – Hazardous Chemicals
Irritating or corrosive to exposed tissues. Inhalation of vapors may result in pulmonary edema and
chemical pneumonitis. Slightly flammable.
Section 3 – Potential Hazards
FIRE AND EXPLOSION HAZARDS:
The minimum ignition energy for ammonia is very high. It is approximately 500 times greater than the
required for igniting hydrocarbons and 1000 to 10,000 times greater than that required for hydrogen.
Mild concentrations of product will cause conjunctivitis. Contact with higher concentrations of product will
cause swelling of the eyes and lesions with a possible loss of vision.
Mild concentrations of product will cause dermatitis or conjunctivitis. Contact with higher concentrations of
product will cause caustic-like dermal burns and inflammation. Toxic level exposure may cause skin lesions
resulting in early necrosis and scarring.
Since product is a gas at room temperature, ingestion is unlikely.
Corrosive and irritating to the upper respiratory system and all mucous type tissue. Depending on the
concentration inhaled, it may cause burning sensations, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, headache,
nausea, with eventual collapse.
Inhalation of excessive amounts affects the upper airway (larynx and bronchi) by causing caustic-like burning
resulting in edema and chemical pneumonitis. If it enters the deep lung, pulmonary edema will result.
Pulmonary edema and chemical pneumonitis are potentially fatal conditions.
Section 4 – Approvals Required
Use of ammonia requires training and the approval of the appropriate lab member.
Section 5 – Designated Area
Ammonia should only be used in the fume hood.
Section 6 – Special Handling Procedures and Storage Requirements
Only trained persons should handle anhydrous ammonia. See the appropriate lab member for training.
To add ammonia to a reaction flask, first flame dry the flask and fit it with a septum. Pierce the septum with a needle that
has been attached to a balloon apparatus. This will allow for a place for gaseous ammonia gas to escape to. Take this
reaction apparatus to the fume hood where the ammonia is kept. Cool the flask down to < -40 ºC (- 78 ºC is easier to keep
the ammonia condensed). Affix a long needle to the end of the tubing from the ammonia tank. Pierce the needle into the
septum and open the ammonia valve slowly. This will allow for the ammonia to condense into the reaction flask. Once a
sufficient amount of ammonia has condensed into the flask, shut off the valve and take the cooled reaction flask back to
your hood to add the substrate, all while maintaining a low temperature.
Store in cool (26.7°C / 80°F) and well-ventilated areas, with containers tightly closed. OSHA 29 CFR 1910.111 prescribes
handling and storage requirements for anhydrous ammonia as a hazardous material. Use only stainless steel, carbon steel or
black iron for anhydrous ammonia containers or piping. Do not use plastic. Do not use any non-ferrous metals such as
copper, brass, bronze, aluminum, tin, zinc or galvanized metals. Protect containers from physical damage. Keep away from
ignition sources, especially in indoor spaces. The ammonia tank is stored in the fume hood in Latimer 839.
Section 7 – Personal Protective Equipment
Gas tight chemical goggles or full-face piece respirator.
Flame-resistant gloves over chemically resistant gloves and laboratory coat made of cotton or flame-retardant material
Level C respiratory protection with full face piece or self-contained breathing apparatus should be available for
emergency use. Air purifying respirators must be equipped with suitable cartridges. Do not exceed maximum
use concentrations. Do not use air purifying respirators in an oxygen deficient/immediately dangerous to life
and health (IDLH) atmosphere. Consult manufacturer’s instructions before use.
Safety shoes, safety shower, eyewash "fountain"
Section 8 – Engineering/Ventilation Controls
Use only in the fume hood. Keep the hood sash as low as possible to prevent exposure or accidental inhalation.
Section 9 – Spill and Accident Procedures
Flush contaminated eye(s) with copious quantities of water. Part eyelids to assure complete flushing. Continue
for a minimum of 15 minutes. PERSONS WITH POTENTIAL EXPOSURE TO AMMONIA SHOULD NOT
WEAR CONTACT LENSES.
Remove contaminated clothing as rapidly as possible. Flush affected area with copious quantities of water. In
cases of frostbite or cryogenic "burns" flush area with lukewarm water. DO NOT USE HOT WATER. A
physician should see the patient promptly if the cryogenic "burn" has resulted in blistering of the dermal surface
or deep tissue freezing.
Not specified. Seek immediate medical attention.
PROMPT MEDICAL ATTENTION IS MANDATORY IN ALL CASES OF OVEREXPOSURE. RESCUE
PERSONNEL SHOULD BE EQUIPPED WITH SELF-CONTAINED BREATHING APPARATUS.
Conscious persons should be assisted to an uncontaminated area and inhale fresh air. Quick removal from the
contaminated area is most important. Unconscious persons should be moved to an uncontaminated area, given
mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and supplemental oxygen. Keep victim warm and quiet. Assure that mucus or
vomited material does not obstruct the airway by positional drainage.
Water fog. Use media suitable for surrounding fire.
FIRE FIGHTING INSTRUCTIONS:
If possible, stop the flow of gas. Since ammonia is soluble in water, it is the best extinguishing media--not only
in extinguishing the fire, but also absorbing the escaped ammonia gas. Use water spray to cool surrounding
ACCIDENTAL RELEASE MEASURES:
Evacuate all personnel from affected area. Use appropriate protective equipment. If leak is in user’s equipment,
be certain to purge piping with inert gas prior to attempting repairs. If leak is in container or container valve,
Section 10 – Waste Disposal
Do not attempt to dispose of residual waste or unused quantities. Return in the shipping container PROPERLY
LABELED, WITH ANY VALVE OUTLET PLUGS OR CAPS SECURED AND VALVE PROTECTION CAP
IN PLACE to authorized distributor for proper disposal.
Section 11 - Decontamination
Remove all contaminated clothing, wash all contaminated skin with copious amounts of water.
Section 12 – Process Steps
Process Steps Safety Measures
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