Mineral acids in workplace air

Project No. BIA 2021


completed 01/1995


Hydrochloric acid (HCI), hydrobromic acid (HBr), sulfuric acid (H2SO4), nictric acid (HNO3) and phosphoric acid (H3PO4) are mineral acids produced in large quantities and used for a variety of tasks. It is possible to determine all anions simultaneously by means of ion chromatography. This traditional method used for individual substances is to be replaced by a new method, allowing for the parallel analysis of all above mentioned mineral acids. Such a method was developed.


Acids occurring in particulate form are separated on a filter. Gaseous acids are collected on a silica gel matrix. After elution with an alkaline solution, separation is carried out by ion chromatography with suppression and conductivity detection. A parallel UV-detection is possible for nitrate and bromide which are UV-active anions.


Two methods for measuring mineral acids in the workplace atmosphere were developed: a method to determine vaporous acids (HCI, HBr and HNO3) and another one to determine particulate acids (H2SO4 and H3PO4). A combination of the methods is impossible. Both methods are used for standard analysis within the measuring system for hazardous substances (BGMG) run by the German Berufsgenossenschaften.

Further informations:

Last Update:



Financed by:
Research institution(s):
  • BIA

chemical industry

Type of hazard:

dangerous substances


Chemische Arbeitsstoffe, Meßverfahren, Krebserregende Stoffe

Description, key words:

mineral acids, adsorptive enrichment, ion chromatography, conductivity detection, hazardous substances, measurement procedure, sampling on filters