Hydrofluoric Acid Testing

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HF Analysis Using Radiello® Passive Sampling Monitors

Many refineries nationwide use hydrofluoric acid as a catalyst in the production of high-octane gasoline1. Hydrofluoric acid is known to be hazardous and has the potential to travel miles downwind in the event of an accidental release2.  ALS Environmental performs analysis of hydrofluoric acid to monitor potential exposure for workers in the refineries, and for residential communities downwind of refineries, using the radiello® passive air sampling dosimeter.

The radiello® cartridge 166 sampler for hydrofluoric acid is comprised of microporous polyethylene coated with triethanolamine (TEA). To collect an air sample, the cartridge is simply loaded into the diffusion body and exposed at the sampling location for the desired length of time. Via diffusion, gaseous hydrofluoric acid (HF) is passively adsorbed by the TEA on the cartridge—no pumps are needed to collect the sample. Once at the laboratory, the sampling media is desorbed with water and the extract is then analyzed for HF (as the fluoride ion) using ion chromatography. The radiello® sampling device may be used for either personal monitoring in the workplace or area ambient air monitoring downwind of a potential source.

As with any passive air monitoring device, the longer the dosimeter is deployed, the lower the resulting reporting limit will be. The radiello® dosimeters can yield quantitative results, which may be compared to applicable OSHA limits such as the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) and Short Term Exposure Limit (STEL). ALS Environmental's reporting limit is below the PEL/STEL limits.



 

Recommended Minimum Sample Time

ALS Environmental Reporting Limit*, ppmV

OSHA Limit, ppmV

Workplace Monitoring

15 minutes

2.3

3.0 (PEL); 6.0 (STEL)

Outdoor Air Monitoring

120 minutes

0.29

3.0 (PEL); 6.0 (STEL)


* Assumes a reporting limit of 5 μg/cartridge.

References:

  1. Investigation by ABC News/The Center for Public Integrity, February 2011. Information available on iwatchnews.org.
  2. US EPA Hydrogen Fluoride Study Final Report, Report to Congress Section 112(n)(6) Clean Air Act As Amended.

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