Knowledge for the Sulphuric Acid Industry
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DKL Engineering, Inc.
Sulphuric Acid Plant Safety - Sulphuric Acid/Oleum
November 3, 2003
Sulfuric acid is a clear, colourless to dark brown, odourless, dense, oily
liquid. It will not burn but it can decompose at high temperatures forming toxic
gases, such as sulfur oxides. Contact of sulfuric acid with
combustible materials may cause fire. It is considered to be highly
reactive. Contact with many organic and inorganic chemicals may cause fire
or explosion and contact with metals liberates flammable hydrogen gas. It also
reacts violently with water.
Sulfuric acid is VERY TOXIC. It may be fatal if inhaled or swallowed and it is CORROSIVE to the eyes, skin and respiratory tract. It may cause blindness and permanent scarring. It also causes lung injury and these effects may be delayed. Strong inorganic acid mists containing sulfuric acid are CARCINOGENIC.
To protect your eyes from sulphuric acid, chemical safety goggles must be worn at all times in designated areas. A face shield may also be necessary when handling sulfuric acid in an open system.
|Acid Concentration||> 8
Use with Caution
|Sulphuric Acid, Fuming||Saranex™
|>70 wt% Sulphuric Acid||Butyl rubber
|30 to 70 wt% Sulphuric Acid||Butyl rubber
|-||Nitrile rubber||Polyvinyl alcohol|
|<30 wt% Sulphuric Acid||Butyl rubber
1. Recommendations are NOT valid for very thin Natural rubber, Neoprene, Nitrile and PVC gloves (0.3 mm or less).
2. Recommendations are valid for permeation rates reaching 0.1 µg/cm2/min or 1 mg/m2/min and over. Resistance of specific materials can vary from product to product. Breakthrough times are obtained under conditions of continuous contact, generally at room temperature. Evaluate resistance under conditions of use and maintain clothing carefully.
Saranex™ is a trademark of the Dow Chemical Company
Tychem® is a registered trademark of DuPont
CPF® 3 is a registered trademark of DuPont
Barricade® is a registered trademark of DuPont
TrellChem® is a registered trademark of Trelleborg, Sweden
Responder® is a registered trademark of Kappler
Reference: Forsberg, K., et al. Quick selection guide to chemical protective clothing. 3rd edition. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1997.
|General warning sign for sulphuric acid.|
|General warning sign for corrosive material.|
|The National Fire Protection
Association - NFPA 704 uses a symbol system designed as a diamond-shaped
label containing four differently colored squares. A number (0 - 4) or an
abbreviation is added to each square indicating the order of hazard
severity. The higher the number, the greater the hazard.
Flammability (Red) - 0 - Will not burn
Health Hazard (Blue) - 3 - Extreme danger
Reactivity (Yellow) - 2 - Violent reaction with water
Special Hazard (White) - None
There are only two NFPA 704 approved symbols for Special Hazards: OX