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Perchloric Acid Hazards, Wet Scrubbers & Fume Extraction Cabinets

The primary function of a Fume Cupboard is to ensure operator protection while also removing hazardous chemical fumes, gases and vapours, and then safely discharging them into the atmosphere.

Additionally, Fume Cupboards act as physical barriers between the laboratory and reactions. This offers protection and containment against spills, explosions, reactions and fires.

In this article, we will be discussing the hazards of perchloric acid and the importance of selecting a scrubber for your Fume Extraction Cabinet’s acid digestion.

The Hazards of Perchloric Acid

Perchloric acid is one of the strongest acids known to man.

At room temperature, aqueous solutions up to 72% have very little oxidising power. However, when concentrated above 72% or heated above 150 degrees, they react violently with organic material – resulting in devastating explosions.

Anhydrous perchloric acid is highly unstable and when stored at room temperature or upon contact with organic material it explodes spontaneously.

At a concentration of 72.5% perchloric acid forms an azeotrope with water and therefore anhydrous perchloric acid is not formed by evaporation. However, when subjected to strong dehydrating conditions, it becomes extremely dangerous and volatile.

Furthermore, at high temperatures, vapours from perchloric acid begin to condense in the ductwork of a fume hood. Here they form shock-sensitive perchlorate salts – posing a serious explosion hazard.

Importance of Wet Scrubbers

Wet Scrubbers remove more than 99% of airborne particulate matter and gases. They use liquids (often water) to remove harmful pollutants from gas streams and are therefore ideal when working with perchloric acid.

Wet scrubbers are designed to handle high-temperatures and high-humidity gas streams – preventing vapour condensation problems, unsafe temperatures and possible explosions.

Additionally, wet scrubbers reduce the temperature and volume of the unsaturated exhaust stream – resulting in the need for smaller cabinets, fans and ducts. Consequently, lowering capital costs, while providing more flexibility in scrubber site location.

Vivid Air - Perchloric Acid Fume Extraction Cabinets South Africa

Vivid Air’s Perchloric Acid Fume Hoods are designed for all laboratory procedures involving perchloric acid. They are fitted with wet scrubbers, wash down systems, essential work surfaces and drainage channels – ensuring a thorough wash down after each use and eliminating the possibility of explosive reactions.

From start to finish we work effectively with each customer, making sure every project requirement is noted and seen to.

For more information about Wet Scrubbers and Perchloric Acid Fume Extraction Cabinets, please contact us.

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