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"Formic acid (1%) as a pre-plate acid dip?"



1998

The lastest issue of Parts Cleaning magazine had an interesting article in it about the use of 1% formic acid in an application whereby "contaminants" could be removed from metals...and a "simple" hydrogen peroxide treatment would serve to remove those, allowing re-use of the solution. The system was designed for use in the recovery of radioactively contaminated metals from the nuclear processing industry...going by a patented name "Decofor". Or at least that application is patented. Question...is formic acid a viable acid dipping product. It would seem that it might be especially useful in removing oxides, rust, surface lead contamination etc. At a 1% concentration it would seem to be much easier to deal with from an environmental standpoint, than stronger % HCl, HNO3 or other pickling acids. It seems that formic acid is a fairly nasty customer with respect to human health issues, and has a pungent odor (however at 1% it may be nil). Do you have experience with this material, and would it be worth investigating further. The ability to peroxide treat and re-use seems positive, from a the standpoint of "waste minimization".

Mike Solvie
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