Sulfuric Acid Handling Design, (Un)Loading, and Installation.

Sulfuric acid is one of the most important compounds made by the chemical industry.  It is used to make, literally, hundreds of compounds needed by almost every industry in the world. Approximately 50% of all sulfuric acid produced is used to make phosphoric acid, which in turn is used to make phosphate fertilizers. Other uses include inorganic chemical manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, soaps & detergents, textiles, and pulp & paper.

Sulfuric Acid (CH2S04) is a mineral acid composed of sulfur, oxygen, and hydrogen. It’s a colorless, odorless, and syrupy liquid that’s soluble in water. Other synonyms include Oil of Vitriol (OV), Vitriolic acid, Hydrogen sulfate, and Oleum. The corrosiveness of sulfuric acid solutions is highly dependent on concentration, temperature, acid impurities. 

In the United States, caustic is typically a closed dome (tight fill) top-loading operation and is loaded into trucks or railcars via loading arms, chemical hoses or by-pass arms. No bottom outlet is allowed on tank cars carrying sulfuric acid; the discharge pipe is located on the dome of the car and extends to the bottom of the tank car. 

Sulfuric acid is extremely corrosive and can cause serious burns when not handled properly.  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.

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