Suitable construction materials for hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) storage and handling systems must be carefully chosen. Only certain materials that are non-reactive and do not promote the catalytic decomposition of H2O2 are suitable for the construction of container and storage equipment. A wide variety of stainless steel types (e.g. 304L or 316L) are the preferred materials for storage tanks and piping, particularly in industrial environments. However, pure aluminum, certain aluminum alloys and polyethylene (for solutions up to 60 weight% H2O2) can be used for tanks as well. 

Hydrogen peroxide is stable at most summer temperatures and will not freeze even at severe, cold winter temperatures (to -52 °C for 50% H2O2). However, if possible, hydrogen peroxide should be stored in roofed, fireproof rooms where it can be kept cool and protected from direct sunlight. It is very important that hydrogen peroxide should be protected against all types of contamination. With proper storage in the original containers or in tank installations, the solutions can be stored for long periods without noticeable losses in active oxygen (less than 2 percent per year).

Aluminum and stainless steel tanks can be installed horizontally or vertically, but polyethylene containers must be installed vertically only. To protect against spills or tank failure, larger storage containers must be kept in a containment area. Stainless steel (preferred) and PVC (for concentrations up to 50% by weight) have proven most effective for piping. Before initial filling, the storage tank and all wetted parts in an H2O2 storage tank installation must be cleaned/pickled and passivated.

Storage tanks, intermediate containers, as well as dosing and reaction vessels must be fitted with adequate venting equipment. Hydrogen peroxide must not get trapped in pipes between valves as decomposition could lead to overpressure.

Evonik has extensive experience and we would be pleased to assist our customers in the planning and construction of hydrogen peroxide installations.

Please find further information about the safe storage and handling of hydrogen peroxide.