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Acid etch (ammonium bifluoride) solids handling

(-----) September 28, 2021

Q. Hello Everyone,

I work as a chemical technician in anodizing industry. We have acid etching process in place. To maintain concentration of fluoride levels we have periodic Acid etch solution additions into process tank.
We regularly prepare this Acid etch solution with process water and ammonium bi-fluoride (in solids form)supplied from vendor. While making the Acid etch solution we use process water from the Acid etch process tank and mix it with 640 kg's of ammonium bi-fluoride from a tote to make 400 gallons of concentrated solution. The process of mixing solids in the tote with process acid etch solution is done physically by chemical technicians. I am looking for suggestions to make this system less labor intensive. (i.e. I need suggestions regarding a system which can pump solids from a tote to mixing tank to make the process robust)

Navachandan Chittireddy
- Toronto Ontario, Canada

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"Guidelines for Safe Handling of Powders and Bulk Solids"
by Center for Chemical Process Safety
from Abe Books

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October 2021

A. Hi Navachandan. I have seen vacuum systems used for powders like hydrated lime, but you probably need to find a vendor who really knows exactly what they are doing :-)

Handling of virtually any powder is a tricky thing for many reasons, and in the case of a fluoride powder which could potentially be inhaled, even more so. Hopefully highly experienced vendors will contact you.

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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