Cobalt III Fluoride

⚠ Danger ☠
Cobalt III fluoride is deemed a particularly hazardous substance (PHS) by EH&S and you need approval before using it. Throughout this SOP, you will see PHS where steps specific to particularly hazardous substances exist.

This chemical standard operating procedure (SOP) and the associated Safety Data Sheet (SDS) are for our safety. Read and understand both documents. If this is a paper copy, check for updated versions on the IsoLab website.


Cobalt III fluoride (CoF3)is used to fluorinate water for oxygen isotope analysis. Hydrofluoric acid (HF) is created as part of this process and is vented to the fume hood. However, when packing a reaction column with cobalt III fluoride, assume HF is being produced from any water that comes into contact with the powder. This water could be from the atmosphere as well as your skin. Therefore, you also need to be familiar with the hydrofluoric acid chemical SOP.

Hazards - SDS

GHS Corrosive Hazard Pictogram GHS Health Hazard Pictogram

CoF3 causes severe skin burns and eye damage and is suspected of causing cancer.

Protection - SDS

Hierarchy of Controls
The Hierarchy of Hazard Controls. While you should consider Elimination and Substitution, this SOP assumes the bottom three are directly applicable and described in this section.

Engineering Controls

CoF3 may be used in a fume hood. Do not open the bottle outside of a fume hood. Ensure the fume hood has proper air flow by checking the flow rate on the control panel and / or using a smoke match or wipe to visualize flow. Do not work with cobalt III fluoride unless the fume hood is functioning properly.

PHS - To help you contain the buoyant powdered form of cobalt III fluoride that we have, use the gray tub secondary container within the fume hood. The tub identified for this specific purpose is located in 302B in a north-wall cabinet.

Administrative Controls

PHS - Tell others in the lab that you are using CoF3. Do not allow anyone else to work in the same fume hood while you are working with CoF3 unless they are working with you. If you must leave the fume hood for any period of time, close the sash and tape a sign up indicating the presence of CoF3.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Wear a lab coat, eye protection, and nitrile gloves when working with cobalt III fluoride.

PHS - Either use an inert atmosphere glove box, a face mask, or keep the fume hood sash low.

Handling - SDS

Keep container tightly closed when not in use. Don all PPE before grabbing the reagent bottle from the storage location. Consider using the insert atmosphere glove tent that is located in a north-wall cabinet in 302B. This tent can be filled with argon or nitrogen. While the tent is cumbersome and tends to make a larger mess that is more difficult to clean up, it does prevent the CoF3 from reacting with atmospheric water vapor.

PHS - Decontamination - The buoyant powder will spread inside the fume hood. Clean up as much as possible with dry paper towels. Then use paper towels moistened with water to finish cleaning up. Wipe down all surfaces in fume hood.

Storage - SDS

CoF3 is stored in a desiccator on the north wall of 303B. Use MyChem, the UW EH&S chemical inventory database, for more on chemical storage. CoF3 must be stored in its original container in a desiccator. Our process typically uses one complete container of 5 g, making storage easier.

Spills - SDS

Do not breath dust.

PHS - Exposure:

If the spill is fully contained inside the fume hood, close the sash and prepare yourself to clean it up. Grab the closest spill kit. Make sure you have the appropriate PPE on (lab coat, nitrile gloves, eye protection). Do not allow the substance to enter the drain. Avoid generating air-borne dust. Try to clean up as much as possible with dry means. Put all generated waste into a bag. See Waste section below.

If the spill is outside of the hood, do not breathe dust and ensure adequate ventilation. Do not let anyone enter the contaminated space until the air is cleared or proper PPE has been donned.

If you need assistance or advice, use the IsoLab Emergency Contacts sheet.

Consult the EH&S Spill Poster and Exposure Poster

Waste - SDS

Do not use a glass container for waste. Any HF that is produced during clean-up may compromise a glass container.

If you are cleaning up after a spill and have a bag of debris, ensure the bag is sealed and use multiple bags as needed. Complete an EH&S Hazardous Waste Label and adhere it to the bag. Here are instructions for how to label chemical waste containers. Labels are located in a drawer on the west wall of 303B near the door to the hallway.

Put all waste, solid or liquid, into a plastic container. Options for waste containers can be found under the west sink in 303B. Complete an EH&S Hazardous Waste Label and adhere it to the bottle. Here are instructions for how to label chemical waste containers. Labels are located in a drawer on the west wall of 303B near the door to the hallway.

Place the properly labeled container in one of the gray tubs near the hallway door of 303B. Segregate from other waste containers as appropriate.

Consult our generalized Chemical Waste Disposal SOP.

Chemical SOP Signature Required Sticker
This sticker is placed on all chemical containers that are deemed particularly hazardous and require approval before use.

Training - PHS

CoF3 is deemed a particularly hazardous substance - PHS by EH&S and you need approval before using it. Complete the list of requirements below before using this chemical.


  1. You must have completed Managing Laboratory Chemicals in the last three years. Login to check.
  2. Read the hydrofluoric acid chemical SOP.
  3. Read and understand the SDS for cobalt III fluoride.
  4. Read, understand, and digitally sign this SOP.
  5. Contact your Principal Investigator (PI) AND the Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO) indicating that you have completed all prerequisites and await approval.


I have read and understood the present SOP and, before starting work outlined in the present SOP, I will complete all required training.

Last updated: 2021-06-23 09:03:58