Caustic Handling Design, Loading, and Installation

What is Caustic? Caustic (NaOH) in all forms is highly corrosive and can cause severe burns to eyes and skin. Looking past its volatile nature you will see a versatile alkali used in the manufacture of pulp and paper, soap and detergents, chemical production, water treatment, and mining among a host of other applications.

In the United States, caustic is typically an open dome loading operation and is loaded into trucks or railcars via loading arms, chemical hoses, or bypass arms. Caustic is a strong irritant and corrosive to the skin, eyes, respiratory tract, as well as, gastrointestinal system if ingested. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required to reduce and hopefully eliminate potential health risks. Since operators typically have to access hatches on top of the vehicles wearing many layers of PPE during the loading process, fall prevention is essential, not only for safety but to expedite job tasks which dramatically increases throughput.

Caustic is typically transported in 16,300 to 18,400 gallon coiled and insulated tank cars

Tank cars must meet the DOT 111A100W1 specification for the transportation of sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), potassium hydroxide and other like commodities. The rails cars themselves are ~ 9′ outside diameter with an overall length of ~39′ to 45′, with an offset opening and 7’4″ long x 6′ wide crashbox.

Caustic is typically bottom unloaded from the tank car by either gravity or compressed air connected to a flexible chemical hose or bottom unloading arm.

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Bulk Chemical Specialist

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Bulk Chemical Market Specialist
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