Hydrogen peroxide mops up NOx emissions from steel pickling

A new technology based on hydrogen peroxide may help to reduce releases of nitrogen oxides from stainless steel pickling and other metal surface treatments by up to 90% - and may form the basis of new NOx emission limits for the sector when it comes under integrated pollution control (IPC).

The pickling process is used to dissolve surface scale formed during the high temperature annealing of steel before it is passed on for cold rolling. A typical pickling liquor consists of 15-25% nitric acid and 3% hydrofluoric acid.

Transition metals present in the steel can react with the nitric acid to release NOx, often at levels of up to 2,000ppm. The current UK limit for NOx emissions from pickling processes is

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