HF will continue to be used at the Refinery as part of the alkylation process to produce high octane gasoline.

Hydrogen Fluoride (HF)

Although HF has been safely used at the Refinery for almost 60 years and is widely used in the refining industry, possible alternatives for the rebuilt facility were investigated and a robust analysis of alkylation technologies that do not involve HF was conducted. After a thorough technology review, engineering analyses, risk assessments and discussions with subject matter experts, the Refinery determined alternative technologies were not proven or involved significant risks.

HF will continue to be used at the Refinery as part of the alkylation process to produce high octane gasoline, an integral part of the Refinery's product mix and economic viability. The community's concerns about the use of HF are understood. Refinery workers — many who live in the community — are aware of the need to maintain the highest safety standards.

There was no release of HF during the 2018 fire and all safeguards worked as designed. Additional HF safety enhancements that will be added during the rebuild (subject to regulatory approval) include:

  • Additional layers of water mitigation. The Refinery currently has a water system that includes a dedicated curtain for the HF tank and two water cannons, which are a highly effective method of addressing hydrofluoric acid vapors, if needed.
  • A Rapid Acid Transfer System, which can quickly transfer HF to an independent secure holding tank in the event of an incident.
  • Enhanced leak detection, including a laser detection system.

The Refinery will continue to review new technologies and safety features that may be incorporated in the future.

Hydrogen Fluoride FAQs

HF Neutralization, October 2019