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Product information: Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA)

1 - Characteristics

- Synonyms: IPA, Sec-propyl alcohol, Isopropanol, 2-Hydroxypropane, 2-Propanol, Propan-2-ol, Dimethylcarbinol, Propanol, Hartosol, Propol

 - Chemical formula: C3H8O or (CH3)2-CH-0H · Molecular weight: 60,10 · MARPOL category: III
 - UN n°: 1219 · CAS n°: 67-63-0 · IMDG class: 3.2 · Hazard identification n°: 33
 - Appearance at ambient temperature (20°C): mobile, colourless liquid, alcohol odour
 - Relative density (water = 1): 0.785 at 20°C · Relative vapour density (air = 1): 2.67
 - Melting point: -86 to -89°C · Boiling point: +82.4°C
 - Flash point: +12°C · Vapour pressure: 32 mm Hg at 20°C (57 mm Hg at 30°C)
 - Solubility in water: soluble in all proportions and miscible in alcohol, acetone...
 - % evaporation / % dissolution: 19% / 81% · Viscosity: 78-79 cSt at 20°C, 85 cSt at 25°C


2 - Physico-chemical behaviour

- Stability: stable product.

 - In air: highly flammable and volatile especially if spilled onto the ground (auto-ignition temperature 400°C), explosive at temperatures > 12°C, explosion limits = 2.3 at 12.7 % vol.
 - In water: floats and mixes (total dissolution with release of heat); according to temperature and wind, slight evaporation; non-corrosive.

- Reactivity with other products: reacts violently with powerful oxidisers, aluminium when hot, sulphuric and nitric acids, aliphatic amines, strong bases, isocyanates...


3 - Spill response techniques

- Emergency measures:

  • Set up a 50 m radius exclusion zone
  • Stay upwind
  • Avoid depressions
  • Ventilate before entering a confined space
  • Remove all sources of ignition, if possible: stop the leak
  • Prevent infiltration into sewer system (seal drains), confined spaces (explosion risk) and run-off into water bodies by building bunds or dykes made of earth or sand
  • Avoid touching the product and inhaling its vapours (stay upwind).

 - Transfer/transshipment possibilities: use a fireproof pump and a plastic storage tank (polyethylene, polypropylene, butyl).
 - Spill on platform area or quayside: evacuate 300 m strip downwind, drain and contain to recover or absorb at lower point. At the end of recovery operations, wash down with water or leave residual traces to evaporate.
 - Spill in water: if the product cannot be prevented from reaching the water, containment is impossible (quick and complete dissolution). Leave the alcohol to disperse and evaporate while monitoring possible sources of ignition.


4 - Risks for responders

- Response limits: major risk = flammability/explosion when mixed with air, spread of heavy vapours near to the ground or water surface (then quick spreading through sewer system, harbour basin, port...).

 - Intoxication risks: low toxicity, short term exposure limit is 400 ppm (980 mg/m³): 15 mn (IDLH) and 3,100 ppm for 8 hours of exposure (TLV). Hazard warning due to perception of odour between 40 and 100 ppm. Risk of nausea, vomiting and narcotic effect at high doses > 500 ppm.
 - Choice of protective equipment: control using explosimeter. Protective clothing as required. In confined space and/or for long exposure times: respiratory protection.


5 - Risks for the environment

- Immediate effects: moderate toxicity in water for fish (LC50 of 900 to 1100 mg/L in 24h).

 - Persistence: no bioaccumulation. Quite rapid biodegradation in water (half-life of a few days).

Last update on 11/07/2001
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