Best Practices for HF Water Mitigation – Techniques and Design Considerations
The purpose of this BakerRisk Best Practice is to document general guidance for establishing a highly effective risk mitigation program for building occupants through Hydrofluoric (HF) water mitigation strategies. Recent industry accidents (Torrance, California; Superior, Wisconsin; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Rotterdam, Netherlands) have led to increased awareness and scrutiny of the potential hazards associated with HF acid. HF hazards are well understood and numerous methods to manage risks associated with these hazards are employed by industry, which are documented as good practice for the Safe Operation of HF Alkylation Units in American Petroleum Institute Recommended Practice 751 (API RP 751) Version 5.
One effective mitigation strategy used by industry, and is the topic of this Best Practice document, is water mitigation. Water mitigation reduces the consequences associated with a release of HF acid by using water to remove airborne HF. To effectively mitigate a potential HF release, the key is quick, targeted deployment of copious amounts of water in an effective spray pattern to ensure a high degree of absorption of the HF.