Storing items in the Laboratory #1.

in #stemng2 years ago (edited)

Good day steemians, I remember my Secondary School days, when I was convinced to study science by one of my elder brothers. Then I agreed to be a science student. The journey started and my parents provided all my needs.

Chemistry was chosen to be my best subject and the subject teacher was friendly to all students, One day He was teaching us on how to store some solvents in the laboratory and some of the precaution to be observed was given as well. Before leaving our class, he gave us practical class work on the topic and materials were provided by Technologist/Technician.

We were grouped into two, each group commenced their practical work. The store reagent was given to each group and work started. After the class work, what came to my mind was why reagents were prepared before used? What are the parameters for storing reagent?, What is the guide to storing reagent or chemicals in the laboratory?

Below are the solutions to some of the question.

In storing items in the laboratory, some parameters must be taken into consideration. These include:

(a) Popularity: This is the frequency of request for a particular substance. Items which are most often requested for should be stored very close to the dispensing table. On the other hand, the less popular substance is best stored far away into the store.

(b) Similarity: This deals directly with the nature and application of substances. Substances having similar or close physical nature and application are best stored together while items of different nature and application are stored away from one another.

(c) Size: The size of the storage rack must have a direct relation to the size of items it will take. This affects the individual items and the group of items.

(d) Characteristics: This factor takes into account the behavior and properties of the individual item and the group of items to be stored together. Items having the same, similar and close behavior and properties are stored away from one another.

What are some guides on storage of chemical in the Laboratory?


The following guides would assist in the storage of substance in the laboratory,

  1. Flammable and explosive substances should always be stored in separate building well away from the main laboratory.

2.The solvent store must be sited well away from any source of ignition. The store must clearly be sign-posted.

3.Flammable solvents should always be stored in metal or metal-lined containers.

4.Oxidizing substances must be stored away from flammable materials and materials that are good reducing agents.

5.The Substance which usually reacts explosively with water is best stored in such a way as to eliminate possible flooding from roofs or pipes.

6.All chemical substances should always be regarded as potentially toxic and should, therefore be stored in a well-ventilated area, preferably cool and away from rays of the sun.


The art of preparing out of chemicals, reagents, solutions and other consumable items to the ultimate user in the laboratory is referred to a dispensation. The dispensing room or rack or cupboard is usually located within the laboratory and stocks small items at a particular time.

Chemicals are dispensed in such a way that it will pose less danger to both the dispenser and the user. The dispensation of chemicals is usually done in small sample bottles while solutions are dispensed in glassware such as beakers, cylinders, and volumetric flasks.

Users of chemicals should always be able to make a reasonable estimate of the required amount of chemicals since chemicals supplied for communal use are expected to be economically used.
Personal spatula or droppers should not be used to take communal chemicals.

Finally, one must ensure that stoppers or caps are tightly replaced immediately after a chemical has been removed from a container.

What is Disposal?


This is another important process that must be taken seriously in the laboratory. Used chemical, reagents, and solution should not just be thrown away anyhow; they must be disposed in a manner that will pose little or no danger to both human and other animal beings, and the environment at large.

A less dangerous chemical can be disposed into sinks and washed with plenty of water. Metals should always be treated with alcohol (Methanol) before being disposed of and should never be thrown into sinks.

Highly flammable materials such as Benzene should never be disposed into sinks. They are usually kept away from getting in contact with the skin and any source of ignition. When these materials spill on the floor or benches, clean the spilled spillage, spray and wash with a solution of detergents in water.

Radioactive materials are disposed into pits specially dug for the purpose, insulated with lead materials and situated away from the laboratory and from the vicinity of any humane object. Since there is a possibility of old cultures becoming contaminated with pathogens, they should be destroyed by immersion in Lysol or by autoclaving.


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Excellent article @semilore.

It is important to always have all the items in proper order inside the laboratory in order to facilitate the scientist's job.

And disposal is probably one of the most important things that need good planning, no one wants to contaminate our environment, especially with dangerous substances.

Nice post. Most of the rules are just common sense.

I am studying chemistry in the university and some of this rules are ignored. There is not an specific room for flammable and explosive substances, most of the reagants are stored in the same laboratory where preparations are made (some are in open shelves above the tables), reagants are usually taken directly from the commercial bottle, etc.

Some of these rules are not easy to be applied in the real world, except in a laboratory specifically designed for it.

@ropaga, that's the truth but standard laboratory must well be designed, and have all the following, Preparatory Room, Weighing Room, Store and Balance Rome. Different Solvents must be kept separate from others, to avoid an explosion. As students, sometimes students misused opportunity been given at a particular time to displayed his or her talent. Thanks, boss.

you are correct @semilore. All explosive chemicals and reagent must be kept in a cool place to avoid explosion, as increase in temperature can speed up a chemical reaction thereby causing unnecessary expansion of chemical molecules. puammmm, Explosion just occur,lol