Hydrofluoric acid

Guichon manufactures valves specially adapted to the production of Hydrofluoric acid :

Uses of Hydrofluoric acid:

It is mainly used for the manufacture of fluorinated organic compounds, inorganic fluorides in the processing of uranium, and in the oil industry as an alkylation catalyst.

In aqueous solution, the fluoure hydrogen is used particularly in the following activities:
– Metal industry: stripping and polishing of steels and other metals
– Electronics industry: surface treatment of electronic components
– Glass industry: engraving, polishing glass, crystal, quartz purification
– Construction industry: cleaning of facades
– Analytical chemistry …

Manufacturing process of Hydrofluoric acid:

Anhydrous hydrogen fluoride (HF) and hydrofluoric acid (aqueous hydrogen fluoride) are  the basis for a variety of fluorocarbon compounds such as refrigerants, solvents, sources of raw material for production of fluoro-plastics, anesthetics, and fire extinguishing agents.

Hydrofluoric acid is manufactured by the heatingacid grade fluorspar (CaF2) with liquid sulfuric acid, forminggaseous hydrogen fluoride andsolid calcium sulfate as by-product. The endothermic reaction usually takes place in a rotary tube furnace. The entire process is kept under vacuum to help pull off the product gases and to promote HF production

The technique of heating the rotary tube furnace by means of a central combustion chamber is the usual practice today. Some technics report better energy management and conversion control by using 3 up to 15 combustion chambers with a temperature gradient (usually 300-400)C).

In general the process involves the following stages: fluorspar drying, reaction of fluorspar with sulfuric acid, hydrofluoric acid purification and scrubbing. To make high grade HF (99.98 percent pure), the crude liquid HF is reboiled and distilled

Figure 1.Simplified process flow diagram for a fluorspar plant

Recommended valves:

Carbon steel can be used as construction material for equipment related to HF at temperatures not exceeding 65°C approx. But above this temperature, it is commonly used for valves, alloys with high nickel content (eg Monel, Inconel, Incoloy, Hastelloy).