Hydrofluorosilicic acid is a colorless liquid and inorganic compound that is rarely found undiluted. It has a pungent smell and a characteristic sour taste. Hydrofluorosilicic acid in its concentrated form is toxic and corrosive. It is mainly produced as a precursor to synthetic cryolite and aluminum trifluoride. It is also commonly used in water treatment to maintain the fluoride level in water.
What Industries and Applications Handle Hydrofluorosilicic Acid?
The most commonly known application of hydrofluorosilicic acid is water fluoridation at water treatment plants. It is up to 5 times less expensive than sodium fluoride, an alternative that can also be used to treat drinking water. As a result, hydrofluorosilicic acid has seen a major surge in demand in recent years. However, concentrations above 20 percent are more dangerous to store and handle than sodium fluoride and need adequate care and equipment.
The largest quantity of hydrofluorosilicic acid worldwide is converted to cryolite and aluminum fluoride. These materials are key in the process of converting aluminum ore into aluminum metal.
Hydrofluorosilicic acid is also used as an electrolyte in the Betts electrolytic process for refining lead and as the active compound in some rust removal cleaning products.
What are the Properties of Hydrofluorosilicic Acid that Will Affect the Chemical Pump You Purchase?
Hydrofluorosilicic acid can be the most dangerous chemical at a particular facility. In the case of evaporation, it releases hydrogen fluoride that is extremely corrosive and will harm the lungs if it is breathed. In addition, hydrofluorosilicic acid interacts with metals and produces a flammable hydrogen gas. These dangers, along with potential corrosion or leakage, can cause imminent harm to working personnel and equipment. Safety precautions should be a key consideration when choosing the right pump for handling hydrofluorosilicic acid.
Figure 1: Hydrofluorosilicic Acid Concentration and Pump Materials
A single or collection of material/s may be rated for a higher temperature/s then the pump as a whole is capable of. It is important to contact a March representative to determine if the pump as a complete unit is suitable for the concentration and temperature of any chemical.
What Pumps Can Manage Hydrofluorosilicic Acid and at What Temperature and Viscosity?
When pumping hydrofluorosilicic acid at room temperature, it is strongly recommended to choose a sealless magnetic drive chemical pump made out of Polypropylene. Hydrofluorosilicic acid is extremely corrosive and interacts with all kinds of metals. An Encapsulated Impeller, Carbon Bushing, and Viton O-ring will prevent all forms of leakage and ensure the safety of your working personnel and equipment.
Choosing the Appropriate Hydrofluorosilicic Acid Pump
March Pumps offers chemical pumps that are specifically designed to handle hydrofluorosilicic acid. These pumps cover the whole range from 1 GPM to 200 GPM. Yet, the type of chemical pump you choose will greatly depend on the acid temperature, the concentration of the acid in use, its specific gravity along with a host of other factors. While a certain chemical pumps may seem appropriate for a particular application, it may not be the most cost effective solution or may even present safety concerns for your facility and staff.
If you need assistance with selecting the right hydrofluorosilicic acid pump, get in touch with our team for assistance and to discuss the options.