Storage and Handling

Aluminum chloride should be handled in the laboratory using the "basic prudent practices" described in Chapter 5.C. In particular, work with this substance should be conducted in a fume hood, and impermeable gloves should be worn at all times when handling AlCl3. Aluminum chloride should be stored in sealed containers under an inert atmosphere in a cool, dry place. Care should be taken in opening containers of this compound because of the possibility of the buildup of HCl vapor from hydrolysis with traces of moisture.


In the event of skin contact, immediately wash with soap and water and remove contaminated clothing. In case of eye contact, promptly wash with copious amounts of water for 15 min (lifting upper and lower lids occasionally) and obtain medical attention. If aluminum chloride is ingested, wash the mouth with water and seek immediate medical attention. If large amounts of this compound (or the HCl vapor generated from its contact with water) are inhaled, move the person to fresh air and seek medical attention at once.

In the event of a spill, sweep up the aluminum chloride (avoid raising dust) and collect in a bag while wearing appropriate protective clothing. Small spills may be collected and carefully hydrolyzed with a large excess of cold water, neutralized with base, and disposed of properly. Respiratory protection may be necessary in the event of a large spill or release in a confined area.


Small excess amounts of aluminum chloride and waste material containing this substance should be cautiously added to a large stirred excess of water, neutralized, and filtered. The insoluble solids should be placed in an appropriate container, clearly labeled, and handled according to your institution's waste disposal guidelines. The neutral aqueous solution should be flushed down a drain with plenty of water. For more information on disposal procedures, see Chapter 7 of this volume.

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