Industrial settings can be rife with potential chemical hazards. The danger might be an environmental one, such as emissions that can harm the atmosphere or nearby water systems. Or the risk could be to the employees at the facility, who need clean, safe air to breath. In many cases, both dangers might be present. Industrial plants are required by a number of national and international protocols to monitor the emissions present at the site. They do this by using equipment that constantly tests the air for hazards. Let’s take a look at this process and why it is important that it runs smoothly.
Hydrogen Chloride Gas
A common chemical found in industrial manufacturing, hydrogen chloride gas can be particularly harmful if it comes in contact with human skin. When combined with water, it turns into hydrochloric acid, which is highly corrosive. If its fumes are present in the air, workers might start choking, and it will irritate the skin as well. Obviously, it is important that hydrogen chloride gases be scrubbed from the air for workers’ safety.
Hydrogen chloride gas is part of the manufacturing process in a variety of industries, and its liquid form, hydrochloric acid is widely used as well. The gas can be found at plants that make semiconductors or that purify silicon. It is used to process cotton and wool, and it is involved in making vinyl as well. The acid is used to refine ore, in the electroplating process and in the fertilizer industry.
With such widespread use of hydrogen chloride, the need for equipment that monitors its emissions is crucial to the safety of industrial workers. The air quality monitoring equipment used to measure HCL gas needs to be accurate and therefore properly calibrated. Therefore, the equipment should be routinely checked using calibration gas as one of the gases in the calibration mixture. The valve stems and regulators should get particular notice as well to identify leaks. Machinery that handles hydrogen chloride gas must be made and coated in a way that prevents degradation of the equipment in the presence of these corrosive mixtures. We find it especially important that the person conducting the testing and calibration of your air monitoring equipment be trained well and diligent about sticking to the calibration process at timely intervals.
The importance of monitoring chemical emissions of all sorts cannot be understated. Not only are there worker-safety issues at hand, but there are environmental concerns as well. Most industrial settings use constant emissions-monitoring systems to check the air, but facilities that use hydrogen chloride gas face some particular challenges. A routine maintenance program is vital for equipment in these settings.
Spec Gas Inc provides calibration gas that includes hydrogen chloride gas for many of our clients. Share with us via the comments or contacting us directly what your experience is with the proper calibration of your air monitoring equipment.