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Hydrochloric Acid Supply Issues and Alternatives

Severe supply issues surrounding Hydrochloric Acid (Muriatic) have recently come to light. Due to the drastic reduction in the production of fluorochemicals, isocyanate, PVC and other feed stocks necessary to produce the by-product, HCL production has been reduced by more than 60%. The duration of this situation may last well into 2012 with some speculation that normal market conditions will not return until early 2013. Obviously as the supply constricts the corresponding prices will reach new highs. We have searched for additional volume from several sources and may be able to secure material at a price double our previous cost.

While all industries that need HCL for production will be facing this uncertainty, Hubbard-Hall’s metal finishing and plating customers may have some viable alternatives. As the price and availability remains unclear we do have several products that can provide impressive results without the use of HCL. Hubbard-Hall’s Acid Brite 340 is a liquid acid salt that is an excellent choice in pickling and surface activation in plating operations. It will provide a smut free surface on a wide range of ferrous and non-ferrous metals and is a concentrate that does not require dissolving salts.

Acid Brite 40 is an acid cleaner and deoxidizer/deruster made specifically for ferrous metals, including, carbon steel and stainless steel substrates. It can effectively remove heavy soils and can also be used to descale steel surfaces. Acid Brite 40 is a free rinsing liquid and is great in a soak or spray application. As an added benefit both the Acid Brite 340 and Acid Brite 40 contain no chlorides and are non-fuming which will reduce corrosion of plant exhaust equipment, thereby saving maintenance costs. Hubbard-Hall also has a complete line of powdered acid salts that are extremely effective on many surfaces. Suitable for descaling/deoxidizing and pickling operations where economical, effective solutions are preferred. Please contact Hubbard-Hall for more information.