A truck transporting concentrated acetic acid was involved in a non-injury accident resulting in the release of 300 gallons of acid. Part of the mitigation is to neutralize the spilled acid with a solid material such as air-slaked lime. Air-slaked lime is a commercially available product that consists of calcium hydroxide and calcium carbonate. Quicklime is the common name for calcium hydroxide. When quicklime is exposed to moist air, it absorbs atmospheric CO2 and forms calcium carbonate.
- Show the chemical formula of air-slaked lime. Explain the chemical interaction involved with the use of air-slaked lime to neutralize the acid. Is this an effective neutralization method for this release?
- Explain why OSHA requires employers to limit employee exposure to acetic acid vapors.