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Glossary: Laboratory operations

auto-ignition temperature. Compare with flash point*.
Minimum temperature at which the vapor/air mixture over a liquid spontaneously catches fire.

autoxidation. autooxidation; autoxidize; autoxidizing.
Oxidation* caused by exposure to air. Rust is an example of autoxidation. Autoxidation makes ether taken from half-filled bottles very dangerous, because air oxidizes ether to highly explosive organic peroxides.

Bunsen burner.
A gas burner with adjustable air intake, commonly used in laboratories.

flash point. Compare with auto-ignition temperature*.
The temperature when vapor pressure* of a substance becomes high enough to allow the air/vapor layer over the substance to be ignited. Ether and acetone have flash points below room temperature, which makes them very dangerous.

MSDS. material safety data sheet.
Safety information sheet for a particular substance that lists physical properties, hazards, cleanup and disposal procedures, fire and explosion data, and protective equipment required.

pyrophoric. pyrophoric solid.
Catches fire spontaneously when exposed to air at normal room temperature. For example, powdered potassium metal is pyrophoric.

General Chemistry Online! Laboratory operations

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