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Aluminum Cleaning -Reply



Maybe this will help,
1.  Oxalic acid is a solid and not a volatile material.  Whereas, acetic acid
is a volatile liquid.  EPA defines VOCs as most compounds of carbon
with listed exemptions.  These exemptions are listed in the federal
register. The Bill Johnson at OAQPS at  RPT, NC,  919-541-5254, can
refer you to the specific FR notice.
 The inhalation of oxalic acid dust has adverse health effects. Dilute
acetic acid, vinegar is much safer and at the use dilution has minimal
vapor.
2.  I am not aware of any facility that uses acetic acid as a
cleaner/descaler for aluminum.  Organic acids such as acetic are more
expensive than inorganic acids like phosphoric or nitric, but acetic may
have niche applications especially if hydrogen embrittlement is a problem.

 
John O. Sparks
OPPT, Design for the Environment
202-260-1682, MC 7406