Process Vent Handling Hydrochloric Acid Vapors

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Courtesy of FAB-TECH Incorporated

Background:
This Roche facility in Belvidere was involved in the pilot manufacturing of innovative Vitamin C products. One step in the manufacturing process utilized a vacuum belt filter operation which created undesirable vapor by-products. These corrosive vapors were collected and romoved via vent lines to be absorbed using a carbon bed process (scrubbed). The vapors involved were HCL, chloroform and alcohol. Although the concentrations were unknown it was confirmed that the vent system contained HCL liquid condensate. System temperature was generally ambient room temperature.

Challenge:
The original vent system was installed with Schedule 10 stainless steel pipe welded in place with only a few gasketed connections and transitions. This vent system was replaced every 6 to 12 months becuase of failure from corrosion pinhole leaks.

Solution:
As a permanent fix Resistoflex was considered. PSP was eventually selected becuase it offered the same or better performance that PTFE lined pipe but at a substantial cost savings. Other features which appealed to Roche were clean, light weight, stainless steel construction and the EZ single fastener band style joining system. PSP coated components were percieved to be easier to install and maintain.

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