Proper Handling and Storage
of Ethyl Ether

According to an occupational health brief from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), ethyl ether is a highly volatile combustible liquid that represents a serious fire hazard if mishandled. Ethyl ether is produced by adding sulfuric acid to dehydrated ethanol or hydrated ethylene. The CDC further identifies ethyl ether as an important solvent used in a variety of manufacturing operations, including the production of rubber, oils, dyes, and resins.

Ethyl ether is a diverse chemical compound that is essential to a variety of industries. In addition to manufacturing, ethyl ether is also used as a surgical anesthetic, as an essential ingredient in the production of diesel fuels, and as a solvent in many dry-cleaning operations. Because of the widespread use of ethyl ether, it is imperative that facilities understand the regulatory requirements concerning the safe storage and handling of ethyl ether.

Ethyl ether is a dangerous and potentially volatile compound, which means it’s also important that facilities use equipment that is designed to dispense, transport, and store ethyl ether. Eagle is the industry leader in flammable and combustible safety equipment for industrial, commercial, and public facilities. Our chemical storage equipment will help facilities safely handle and store flammables in a variety of working contexts. To help you find the ethyl ether storage and handling equipment that is right for you, here is a look at the regulatory requirements regarding ethyl ether and the safety equipment that can help your facility achieve regulatory compliance.

Flammable Storage Requirements for Ethyl Ether

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), flammable and combustible liquids must be handled and stored properly in order to reduce the risk of fire or injury. Industrial and commercial facilities are often fraught with potential ignition sources—such as open flames, portable heaters, slag from welding, and sparks created by tools —that could lead to a fire.

OSHA general industry standard 1910.106(a)(29) and construction industry-standard 1926.152(a)(1) require facilities to take steps to mitigate these risks in order to prevent flammable and combustible liquids from coming into contact with ignition sources. Eagle flammable liquid safety products are designed to satisfy OSHA standards and NFPA code 30 requirements. Implementing flammable and combustible liquid storage cabinets and safety cans in an industrial or commercial facility can minimize the risk of injury or property damage and maintain regulatory compliance.

Classification of Flammable Liquids

Flammable and combustible liquids are categorized based on their relative flashpoints—or the lowest temperature that produces vapors. According to the NFPA, there are three classes of flammable liquids. If a liquid has a flashpoint below 100 °F (38°C), it is considered a flammable liquid. If a liquid has a flashpoint that exceeds 100 °F (38°C), then it is classified as a combustible liquid.

Class I liquids are considered flammable liquids, while Classes II and III are considered combustible liquids. According to OSHA general industry standard 1910.106(d)(3)(i) and construction industry-standard 1926.152(b)(3), no more than 60 gallons of a flammable liquid may be stored in a single safety cabinet, and no more than three cabinets can be stored in any facility or building. Because ethyl ether has a flashpoint that is below 100 °F (38°C), it is considered a Class I flammable liquid.

Approved Storage Options for Ethyl Ether

Flammable Safety Cabinets

Flammable and combustible liquid storage safety cabinets from Eagle are ideal for storing volatile liquids like ethyl ether. These cabinets feature an 18-gauge thick, welded steel construction that will help segregate flammable and combustible liquids from potential ignition sources.

All safety cabinets from Eagle incorporate four adjustable leveling legs, continuous piano hinges, ground connection, triangular warning labels, and internal vents. Flammable and combustible liquid cabinets are also available with self-closing or manual close doors. The self-latching doors are designed to secure contents for maximum storage protection in the event of a fire. The patented adjustable shelves are supported by individual brackets and can hold up to 350 pounds and designed to direct spills to the back and bottom of the leak proof sump—ensuring that no chemicals can escape from containment. Cabinets from Eagle are FM-approved, and most include a ten-year warranty, which ensures they meet the highest standards in safety, performance, and loss prevention.

Type I Safety Cans

Eagle safety cans are known for their high-quality design. Type I safety cans feature a single opening for pouring and filling. These cans are constructed of 24-gauge hot-dipped galvanized steel with an environmentally sustainable baked-on powder coat finish for maximum durability and chemical resistance. The finish is available in a variety of colors in order to help personnel distinguish between liquids. Ethyl Ether is Class IA flammable liquid, so it would be stored in a red safety can.

The spring-closing lid and neoprene gasket on these cans enables them to vent at five psi of internal pressure automatically. Safety cans from Eagle also incorporate a non-sparking flame arrester that offers flashback protection for the user. These cans are designed to satisfy OSHA and NFPA code 30 requirements and are also UL, ULC, and FM approved for the safe handling and storage of ethyl ether and other flammable and combustible liquids. Eagle Type I safety cans are the only safety cans on market that feature a deep-drawn, seamless quality construction.

Type II Safety Cans

Type II safety cans from Eagle offer all the features of the Type I safety can with the added convenience of an actuated pouring valve for more controlled pouring. Type II safety cans feature two openings: one for filling and the other for dispensing. This design provides users with a better, safer, and more controlled pour, to mitigate the risk of fire. These cans also feature a flexible spout that will facilitate easier pouring, and the built-in flame arresters provide flashback protection.

Find the Ethyl Ether Storage Option that is Right for You

Eagle is the industry leader in flammable and combustible liquid storage and handling products. We supply facilities all over the world with the equipment they need to safely handle and store them in accordance with regulatory requirements. Eagle’s line of metal safety cans and flammable liquid safety cabinets offer solutions for a variety of applications. In addition to providing regulatory compliance, Eagle’s safety cans and cabinets are designed to keep your personnel and facilities safe, secure, and protected.

Whether you need a flammable and combustible liquid safety cabinet to store dangerous liquids or a safety can to facilitate transportation and dispensing, Eagle has the safety equipment you need. Take a look at our selection of flammable and combustible liquid safety products and find the equipment and safety solutions that are right for you and your facility.

This guide for the proper storage and handling of chemicals from Eagle is intended for reference only. It is not a substitute for the user clearly understanding the nature and proper application of flammable liquids and the laws regulating their use.

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