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Chemical Datasheet

SODIUM BOROHYDRIDE

4.3 - Dangerous when wet
Chemical Identifiers | Hazards | Response Recommendations | Physical Properties | Regulatory Information | Alternate Chemical Names

Chemical Identifiers

The Chemical Identifier fields include common identification numbers, the NFPA diamond U.S. Department of Transportation hazard labels, and a general description of the chemical. The information in CAMEO Chemicals comes from a variety of data sources.
CAS Number UN/NA Number DOT Hazard Label USCG CHRIS Code
  • 16940-66-2
  • Dangerous When Wet
NIOSH Pocket Guide International Chem Safety Card
none
NFPA 704
data unavailable
General Description
Sodium borohydride is a white to grayish crystalline powder. It is decomposed by water to form sodium hydroxide, a corrosive material, and hydrogen, a flammable gas. The heat of this reaction may be sufficient to ignite the hydrogen. The material itself is easily ignited and burns vigorously once ignited. It is used to make other chemicals, treat waste water, and for many other uses.

Hazards

The Hazard fields include special hazard alerts air and water reactions, fire hazards, health hazards, a reactivity profile, and details about reactive groups assignments and potentially incompatible absorbents. The information in CAMEO Chemicals comes from a variety of data sources.
Reactivity Alerts
Air & Water Reactions
Hydrolysis generates enough heat to ignite adjacent combustible material [Haz. Chem. Data 1966]. Dissolves in water with liberation of heat, may steam and spatter. Solution is basic (alkaline). Reaction of water with the borohydride liberates flammable hydrogen gas. Sodium borohydride burns in air [Lab. Gov. Chemist 1965].
Fire Hazard
Behavior in Fire: Decomposes and produces highly flammable hydrogen gas. (USCG, 1999)
Health Hazard
Solid irritates skin. If ingested can form large volume of gas and lead to a gas embolism. (USCG, 1999)
Reactivity Profile
SODIUM BOROHYDRIDE is a powerful reducing agent. A chemical base. Absorbs moisture readily forming caustic solution. which attacks aluminum and zinc. A violent polymerization of acetaldehyde results from the reactions of acetaldehyde with alkaline materials such as sodium hydroxide. Calcium oxide or sodium hydroxide react with phosphorus pentaoxide extremely violently when initiated by local heating [Mellor 8 Supp.3:406 (1971]. Using potassium hydroxide to dry impure tetrahydrofuran, which contains peroxides, may be hazardous. Explosions have occurred in the past. Sodium hydroxide behaves in a similar way as potassium hydroxide [NSC Newsletter, Chem. Soc. 1967]. Ignition occurs if a mixture of the hydride and sulfuric acid is not cooled. Contact of glycerol and sodium borohydride leads to ignition, other glycols and methanol are exothermic but do not ignite.
Belongs to the Following Reactive Group(s)
Potentially Incompatible Absorbents

No information available.

Response Recommendations

The Response Recommendation fields include isolation and evacuation distances, as well as recommendations for firefighting, non-fire response, protective clothing, and first aid. The information in CAMEO Chemicals comes from a variety of data sources.
Isolation and Evacuation
Excerpt from ERG Guide 138 [Substances - Water-Reactive (Emitting Flammable Gases)]:

As an immediate precautionary measure, isolate spill or leak area in all directions for at least 50 meters (150 feet) for liquids and at least 25 meters (75 feet) for solids.

SPILL: Increase, in the downwind direction, as necessary, the isolation distance shown above.

FIRE: If tank, rail car or tank truck is involved in a fire, ISOLATE for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions; also, consider initial evacuation for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions. (ERG, 2016)
Firefighting
Excerpt from ERG Guide 138 [Substances - Water-Reactive (Emitting Flammable Gases)]:

DO NOT USE WATER OR FOAM.

SMALL FIRE: Dry chemical, soda ash, lime or sand.

LARGE FIRE: DRY sand, dry chemical, soda ash or lime or withdraw from area and let fire burn. Move containers from fire area if you can do it without risk.

FIRE INVOLVING METALS OR POWDERS (ALUMINUM, LITHIUM, MAGNESIUM, ETC.): Use dry chemical, DRY sand, sodium chloride powder, graphite powder or Met-L-X® powder; in addition, for Lithium you may use Lith-X® powder or copper powder. Also, see ERG Guide 170.

FIRE INVOLVING TANKS OR CAR/TRAILER LOADS: Fight fire from maximum distance or use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles. Do not get water inside containers. Cool containers with flooding quantities of water until well after fire is out. Withdraw immediately in case of rising sound from venting safety devices or discoloration of tank. ALWAYS stay away from tanks engulfed in fire. (ERG, 2016)
Non-Fire Response
Excerpt from ERG Guide 138 [Substances - Water-Reactive (Emitting Flammable Gases)]:

ELIMINATE all ignition sources (no smoking, flares, sparks or flames in immediate area). Do not touch or walk through spilled material. Stop leak if you can do it without risk. Use water spray to reduce vapors or divert vapor cloud drift. Avoid allowing water runoff to contact spilled material. DO NOT GET WATER on spilled substance or inside containers.

SMALL SPILL: Cover with DRY earth, DRY sand or other non-combustible material followed with plastic sheet to minimize spreading or contact with rain. Dike for later disposal; do not apply water unless directed to do so.

POWDER SPILL: Cover powder spill with plastic sheet or tarp to minimize spreading and keep powder dry. DO NOT CLEAN-UP OR DISPOSE OF, EXCEPT UNDER SUPERVISION OF A SPECIALIST. (ERG, 2016)
Protective Clothing
Goggles, rubber gloves, and protective clothing. (USCG, 1999)
DuPont Tychem® Suit Fabrics
No information available.
First Aid
INGESTION: do NOT induce vomiting; give dilute vinegar, lemon juice, milk, or olive oil; call a doctor.

SKIN AND EYES: flood with large amount of water. (USCG, 1999)

Physical Properties

The Physical Property fields include properties such as vapor pressure and boiling point, as well as explosive limits and toxic exposure thresholds The information in CAMEO Chemicals comes from a variety of data sources.
Chemical Formula:
  • BH4.Na
Flash Point: data unavailable
Lower Explosive Limit (LEL): data unavailable
Upper Explosive Limit (UEL): data unavailable
Autoignition Temperature: data unavailable
Melting Point: data unavailable
Vapor Pressure: data unavailable
Vapor Density (Relative to Air): data unavailable
Specific Gravity: 1.074 at 68 ° F (USCG, 1999)
Boiling Point: data unavailable
Molecular Weight: 37.83 (USCG, 1999)
Water Solubility: data unavailable
Ionization Potential: data unavailable
IDLH: data unavailable

AEGLs (Acute Exposure Guideline Levels)

No AEGL information available.

ERPGs (Emergency Response Planning Guidelines)

No ERPG information available.

PACs (Protective Action Criteria)

Chemical PAC-1 PAC-2 PAC-3
Sodium borohydride (16940-66-2) 0.49 mg/m3 5.3 mg/m3 32 mg/m3
(DOE, 2016)

Regulatory Information

The Regulatory Information fields include information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Title III Consolidated List of Lists, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards, and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals Standard List (see more about these data sources).

EPA Consolidated List of Lists

No regulatory information available.

DHS Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS)

No regulatory information available.

OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard List

No regulatory information available.

Alternate Chemical Names

This section provides a listing of alternate names for this chemical, including trade names and synonyms.