Wash Down Fume Cupboards & Perchloric Acid: The Ultimate Guide

Perchloric acid is used for lab tests along with other applications such as chemical procedures, mechanical and electrical processes and more. However, it can be a significant hazard when it is not used properly or when the right safety precautions are not put in place. Fume cupboards with an integrated wash down system is the best way to keep everything safe and secure when using perchloric acid.

So, first things first…

What is Perchloric Acid and Why is it Dangerous?

Perchloric acid is a clear substance that is a mineral acid. It’s chemical formula is HCI04 and it is made up of between 50% - 72% acid. It has no smell, is completely clear with no colour and is liquid when kept at room temperature.  

However, it does pose some serious hazards including being corrosive to metals as well being harmful to skin and eyes. It provides a violent reaction when introduced to materials including wood, oil and plastic and requires a dum cupboard that has been for use with Perchloric acid to ensure that the oxidisers are unable to accumulate.

Why Do You Need a Fume Cupboard When Using Perchloric Acid?

Specifically designed fume hoods are an essential purchase when you want to use this particular chemical. The main reason for this is so that the acid doesn’t come into contact with materials that could corrode or explode, causing damage to the work area and danger to anyone in the vicinity.

Wash down fume cabinets work to stop Perchloric salts from inadvertently forming which is important as the salts are highly sensitive and can explode when exposed to even the smallest vibration. However, before a unit can be used, the operator must be clear on the required procedure to ensure proper use.

How Do Wash Down Fume Cupboards Work?

An integrated wash down system is designed to send water into the hood in order to scrub any vapours so that they do not become a risk. They are designed with nozzles installed and work to wet the cupboard walls, the baffles and also the duct connections so that there is no area that Perchloric acid salts can be deposited, and no vapour can be left behind.

Choosing the Best Equipment to Work With

If you are keen to get the best and safest equipment for Perchloric acid use, then you will need to find specialist fume cupboards built to use Perchloric acid rather than a standard unit that only offers a wash down facility for the internal workspace and not the ducts.

Many fume cabinet providers claim that their standard equipment are safe for Perchloric acid, but this is not the case and you should always select a specialist Perchloric acid fume cupboard instead, seeking further consultation and specification information as well if necessary.

Is a Fume Hood Specifically Designed for Perchloric Acid Really Needed?

Absolutely, the main reason being that the risk of a Perchloric acid build up in the ducts of your unit is significant if you do not have a wash down system that is designed to clean the duct work.

In addition, there are a number of chemicals that are incompatible with Perchloric acid and pose a fire and explosion risk if kept together. By investing in a wash down fume cupboard that’s suitable for Perchloric acid, you can be confident that there will be no cross contamination of these chemicals.

Does You Need an Exclusive Exhaust System?

When you consider the risk that this acid can pose when not used safely, it then leaves you questioning whether it should have its own exhaust system? The answer is simple – yes!

Not only do experts state that Perchloric acid exhausts should be kept separate from other acids but they also stipulate that they need to be installed in a location that allows the shortest route to external release and should never be stored in the same pipes or chambers as the other exhausts.

Finding the Right Wash Down Fume Cupboard

If you are ready to invest in equipment that has been designed for use with Perchloric acid then TION is the company you need. Not only do we specialise in the manufacture of wash-down fume cupboards, but we also offer customised solutions that will meet your specific needs, whatever they may be. Our team will work with you to design the right system before constructing it to your needs and installing it in your chosen location. We are on hand to answer your questions and guarantee to provide a high-quality solution that keeps your work and your people safe.

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