Hydrogen Fluoride Manufacture and Use

Hydrogen Fluoride (HF) is a very useful chemical used in a variety of industries. However, HF is highly toxic with potential fatal consequences with exposure to humans, so facilities that make or use HF should exercise great care. Nevertheless, there is always the risk of leaks from process elements such as valves, pump seals and storage vessels. Tanker loading, transporting and unloading operations also provide opportunity for HF releases. Industrial processes that make or use HF typically have arrays of point sensors distributed throughout the unit. However, these sensors are maintenance intensive and have relatively slow response times. In addition, a point sensor will not detect an HF release unless it is located directly in the area of that release. Electrochemical HF sensors also respond to chlorine, ammonia, and sulfur dioxide, resulting in false alarms.

Boreal’s open path technology complements or replaces point sensor arrays by providing total perimeter coverage, with high sensitivity (1ppb on 100m path), fast response (1sec) and no false alarms. Built in self diagnostics functions add to the users confidence. Our analyzer systems are not affected by extreme weather conditions. The Portable Open-Path TDL Analyzer can be used for temporary monitoring during turnarounds and new construction and commissioning, or for smaller facilities where only one or two paths are required. For larger, permanent multi-path installations, Multi-Channel System provides a robust, reliable and low maintenance solution providing earliest possible warning of potentially dangerous releases of HF. A single Multi-Channel System can monitor up to eight paths. Some of these paths can be configured with duct probes for safe haven air intake monitoring. When precise measurement of HF concentrations are required (or small facilities), Boreal Laser HF Point Detector provides precision of better than 0.5 ppm with full scale to 1000 ppm.

Boreal’s TDL technology has several benefits for HF Safety Applications:

  • Provides continuous and instantaneous response times and data collection.
  • Very reliably delivers accurate readings.
  • No interference with other gases and No False Alarms: “It finds exactly what you’re looking for.”
  • Ease of data collection and interpretation.
  • Minimal Maintenance: checks internal reference cell every minute, robust design, and requires no consumables to operate.
  • Low (overall or amortized) cost of ownership (because they can last +20 years) and low operation and maintenance costs.
  • Our technology is as close to  set, collect, and forget as possible.

HF Safety Detection Applications:

  • HF Alkylation Unit Leak Detection in Refineries

    HF Alkylation units in oil refineries use Hydrogen Fluoride (HF) as a catalyst in making high-octane gasoline. The large supply of HF at these facilities are of immediate concern to not only operational personnel but neighboring facilities and residential areas. Many legacy gas detection technologies have very slow reaction times of 30-90 seconds. Boreal’s analyzers can detect HF as close to instantaneously as possible. This allows your faculties control system to activate  the deluge canons almost as soon as the leak occurs.  Whether you are looking for perimeter monitoring or robust and reliable point detection Boreal has you covered.


  • Herbicide Manufacture and Use

    The HF present during the manufacturing of herbicides is a hazard for the health and safety of all of those in and around the facility. Boreal’s vast experience in the detection of HF is unrivaled. Our technology does not require the same extensive maintenance routines like other methodologies. There is significant operational savings due to the fact that the system does consume.


  • Refrigerants manufacture and Use

    The use of HF in manufacturing refrigerants is a major concern for the health and safety of those at the facility but to those in the surrounding areas as well. Boreal is the world leader in HF safety monitoring and no other technology or company can compare. The ability to use one analyzer to measure multiple areas over long paths is a very cost effective way to effectively and efficiently identify HF leaks.


  • Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

    HF is a important chemical used in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Our products can be tailor made to suit the specific HF detection needs of the manufacturing process. Boreal’s experience in HF detection is second to none.


  • Plastics Manufacturing

    A number of different HF monitoring and detection applications are available for the variety of different plastic generation processes. Our technology does not suffer from false positives or inference so if there is HF present then our analyzers will accurately and reliably detect it.


  • Semiconductor/ Electronics Manufacturing

    The cleaning of silicon wafers requires the use of HF which is a very hazardous and dangerous chemical. It is imperative to know the your employees are being exposed to HF. Our technology will accurately and reliably detect HF in a multitude different configuration options.


  • HF Manufacture

    Producing mass quantities of HF requires a certain amount of due diligence to ensure you are not exposing your operational personnel and surrounding neighbors to the harmful and dangerous gas. Our technology and products are tailor made to kiln leaks and stack monitoring.



  • Nuclear Fuel Processing/ Separating Uranium Isotopes

    The HF presence in nuclear facilities requires the need for an accurate and reliable HF gas detector. Boreal’s HF detection and monitoring solutions are perfect for the unique application in a nuclear processing facility. Our experience and knowledge in HF detection is second-to-none.


  • Metals Cleaning, Pickling and Manufacturing

    HF is used the cleaning of carbon steel and the pickling of stainless steel. HF is dangerous and immediately hazardous to human health. The ability to monitor HF levels will ensure that workers are not exposed to HF levels above the allowable working limit. Our numerous different configuration options will ensure a tailor made solution that is right for your facility.


  • Clean/Removing Images from Printing Plates

    To remove images from printing plates HF is needed. The acute poison at certain quantities is immediately hazardous to human health. Steps should be taken to ensure that the health and safety of your employees is taken care-of. Our technology is used to make sure that the HF gas present in the atmosphere is not about the allowable working limits.


  • Etching Glass and Metal

    The use of HF in etching glass and metal can expose workers to hazardous levels of the toxic gas. Due diligence should be taken to actively monitor the level of HF present.

    etched glass

  • Bricks and Ceramic Manufacturing

    HF is emitted from kilns as a result of the discharge of fluorine compounds in the materials used to make bricks. Due to the variability of fluorine content in the raw materials it is prudent to actively monitor the HF levels in production bricks and ceramics. Our technology is tailor-made to monitor and detect HF concentrations is the brick manufacturing process.