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Hydrogen Chloride (HCl) Gas Detectors

Most hydrogen chloride (HCl) is used in the production of hydrochloric acid. It is also an important reagent in other industrial chemical transformations, such as the hydrochlorination of rubber and the production of vinyl and alkyl chlorides. Other industries or applications where high levels of hydrogen chloride may occur include petrochemical facilities, cotton production, metal pickling, rubber manufacturing, and semiconductor production.

hydrogen chloride (HCl) gas detectors for production

Characteristics of Hydrogen Chloride

Hydrogen Chloride is a colorless to slightly yellow corrosive gas with a pungent, irritating odor. Although not considered a combustible gas, it may react or form combustible compounds when contact is made with alcohol and hydrogen cyanide or with aluminum-titanium alloys. Dissolving Hydrogen chloride in water will yield a strong highly corrosive acid. It is for this reason that HCl is a strong irritant to the eyes, nose, and upper respiratory tract. Levels of 35 ppm can cause irritation to the throat even after a very short period of time.

More about Hydrogen Chloride expand table collapse table


Extremely toxic
Oxidizing agent
Anhydrous Hydrochloric Acid, Chlorohydric Acid, Hydrochloride, Spirits of Salt,Muriatic Acid
Exposure limits:
PEL\TWA: 5 ppm
IDLH: 50 ppm
Vinyl and cotton production, semi-conductor crystals etching, petroleum and gas wells, steel manufacturing

Effects of Various HCl Levels

HCL Level in PPM
Resulting Conditions on Humans
Odor threshold.
Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL).
Irritation to the eyes, nose, throat even after a short period of time.
Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH).
Death in 2-3 minutes.

How to Detect Hydrogen Chloride

With a lifetime warranty, the MX6 iBrid® multi-gas detector can simultaneously monitor up to six gases, including hydrogen chloride, oxygen, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other toxic and combustible gases.

Multi-Gas Monitor

MX6 iBrid

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Area Monitor

Radius BZ1

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hydrogen chloride (HCl)?

Hydrogen chloride (HCl) is a colorless, corrosive gas with a pungent odor. When dissolved in water, it forms hydrochloric acid, a strong acid widely used in industry. HCl is employed in various applications, including metal refining, pH control, and chemical synthesis. It is also a byproduct of certain industrial processes. 

Why is Hydrogen chloride (HCl) detection important?

Hydrogen chloride (HCl) detection is crucial for ensuring safety in industrial environments. HCl is highly corrosive and can cause severe respiratory issues, skin burns, and eye damage. Detecting HCl leaks or emissions helps prevent harmful exposure, protects workers, and ensures compliance with environmental regulations. 

What are the health effects of Hydrogen chloride (HCl) exposure?

Exposure to Hydrogen chloride (HCl) can have serious health effects. Inhalation can cause throat irritation, coughing, and shortness of breath. High concentrations may lead to pulmonary edema and respiratory failure. Skin contact can result in severe burns, while eye exposure can cause permanent damage. Chronic exposure may lead to long-term respiratory issues. 

How do you detect Hydrogen chloride (HCl)?

Hydrogen chloride (HCl) is detected using various types of sensors and detectors. Common methods include electrochemical sensors, which provide real-time monitoring and are often used in portable devices. Infrared and colorimetric sensors are also employed for accurate detection. These devices are essential for maintaining safe levels of HCl in industrial and laboratory settings. Industrial Scientific also offers a range of HCl detectors, including portable gas detectors and gas monitoring software systems.