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Propylene Glycol leak into Sulfuric Anodizing Tank

February 17, 2022

Q. We have 2 sulfuric Acid Anodizing tanks that are cooled by Propylene Glycol. The Glycol tank is losing volume regularly and we need to figure out which tank it is leaking into. Does anyone know of a test for glycol in sulfuric that doesn't require a lot of sample prep? We consulted an outside local lab, but they don't want to risk their instruments due to the sulfuric acid concentration.

Tyler Hurst
- Boise, Idaho

February 22, 2022

A. Hello Tyler.

i am not able to address the lab portion of question you are posing but i would very simply ask you this... have you observed which of either or both tank level(s) might be rising? if it is not a dramatic leak then you might consider another relatively easy check which would be at the start of the work shift hang a piece of wire over the side of both tanks touching the top of solution and after a short time, a few hours or after the shift is completed check and see if either or both of the wires have a portion that is now below surface. take care not to add any additional water or acid to the tank during this test. a small leak might take some time to discover but moderate leak you may be able to identify at some point during your shift. if you see no rise in tank levels then you will have to check elsewhere in the cooling system.

Philip J. Verzal
Saporito Finishing Co.
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Cicero, Illinois

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