Phosphoric Acid (H3PO4) Handling Design, Loading, and Installation.

Although no two Phosphoric acid loading solutions will be identical, the product itself determines much of the critical design criteria that will ensure that optimum safety and productivity can work together in harmony. 

What is Phosphoric acid? Phosphoric acid, also known as orthophosphoric acid, is a colorless, odorless crystalline or liquid. H3PO4 is corrosive to metal as well as human tissue. It’s a component in detergents, fertilizers, water treatment and many household cleaning products. Diluted solutions have a pleasing acid taste; therefore it’s also used as a food additive in soft drinks and other prepared foods.

In the United States, Phosphoric acid is a “tight-fill” (closed-loop) loading operation and is loaded into rail cars via chemical hoses or 3” PTFE lined carbon steel loading arms. Phosphoric acid, if not handled properly can cause serious injuries and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required. Additionally, because operators are on top of the vehicles during the loading process, robust, well-designed fall prevention is essential to ensure increased throughput, without compromising operator safety.

Phosphoric acid is typically shipped in 10,000 gallon DOT-103 insulated or non-insulated rubber lined tank cars with safety valves.  The rails cars themselves are ~ 9′ outside diameter with an overall length of ~45’ to 50′, with a 6’ x 6’ center opening or off-set crash box openings.

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