USW seeks phaseout of HF alkylation units

09/01/2009
The United Steelworkers Union has called for a nationwide phaseout of hydrogen fluoride alkylation units at refineries, saying solid-state catalysts offer promise as a safer alternative although this method is only used at the pilot plant stage.Hydrogen fluoride is an acid used as a catalyst in alkylation units. The other main commercially used alternative for a catalyst is sulfuric acid. Both are hazardous chemicals. A third alternative is a modified HF process although only a handful of refineries are using it, industry spokespeople said."We intend to pursue every avenue till we have safer units that don't endanger our refinery workers or the communities surrounding these facilitie...
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