Re: 40's era tank cars for sulfuric acid loading

Eric Hiser <ehiser@...>

It would depend upon whether the smelter was tied to a mine that
needed acid for leaching. In that case, some acid recovery occurred prior
to the introduction of the Primary Copper New Source Performance Standard
and State Implementation Plan requirements that you mentioned. Whether such
a need for acid existed is a very case-specific question that the individual
asking the original question will (it is hoped) know the answer to.

Eric Hiser
Phoenix, aZ

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of
Sent: Saturday, January 29, 2011 7:08 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] 40's era tank cars for sulfuric acid loading

As the recovery of SO2 in the form of sulfuric acid resulted primarily from
the institution of air pollution regulations, it is doubtful that much was
occurring in 1948. The firs air pollution regulations in the US were
adopted in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh) Pennsylvania in 1948 with
implementation beginning in 1949. Even with that it took years to bring
about any significant reduction in SO2 and corresponding production of
by-products such as H2SO4.

Rich Orr

-----Original Message-----
From: Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Sat, Jan 29, 2011 1:54 am
Subject: Re: [STMFC] 40's era tank cars for sulfuric acid loading

Ed Grabek wrote:

In Arizona today along the Sunset route it is common to see strings
of tank cars labeled for sulfuric acid loading as they are a part of
copper smelting operations. I am modeling a portion of an SP
Branch serving a copper mine and smelting operation in Arizona as it
appeared in 1948 and I will need to model tank cars for that
purpose. My research so far has not turned up a clear view of a
common type of tank car for sulfuric acid loading in that era. I am
making the assumption that UTLX and possibly others had groups of
cars for that purpose that were simple variations of their more
common car types with modified domes and lined interiors for this
service but I haven't been able to find any definitive pictures or
drawings so far. Can anyone help me out?

You're right that acid cars were not tremendously different than

other ICC 103 tank cars, but not in the UTLX fleet. By 1948 UTL was

still heavily oriented to petroleum products and was just beginning to

provide other car types for lease. There are lots of photos of acid

cars built before 1948, for example the AC&F cars in both of Ed

Kaminski's books about AC&F. You will find VERY good photos of acid

cars, both privately owned and in the lease fleet of SHPX. GATX cars

likewise served this need well before 1948.

Are you sure that sulfuric acid was being reclaimed by copper

smelters in significant quantities by 1948? An awful lot of SO2 was

simply going up stacks in previous years. I really don't know when the

changeover occurred, but might guess it was later.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA

2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705

(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...

Publishers of books on railroad history


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