Chemical firm’s investment aims to plug gap in the market
A chemical company has seized the opportunity created by a change in the market to continue its strategic push towards diversification and target new customer bases with a £253,000 investment in sulphuric acid dilution.
Airedale Group, which is based in North Yorkshire, has acquired a fully automated dilution plant and intends to help fill the gap in the market left by the closure of an Ineos site in 2021.
It will allow the company to provide an extensive range of sulphuric acid in a variety of grades, all of which will be diluted onsite and passed on to industries including car manufacturing, metal processing and industrial cleaning.
Operations director of Airedale Group, Dan Fox, said: “When the chance to purchase this plant arose we saw a fantastic opportunity to help plug an 80,000 tonne shortage in the industry and offer a small amount of sulphuric acid back into the market place.
“Within 24 hours of the investment being discussed by the board we had submitted the order, which reflects the agility and flexibility we have being a family-owned business.
“Up to 4,000 litres can be produced in just two hours and it is capable of manufacturing 10 standard strengths or programmed to specific doses as required.
“Analogue signals from the level transmitters situated on the storage tanks mean they’re filled automatically which optimises its efficiency.
“Alongside the sulphuric dilution plant we have also invested in a chilling system to help control the reaction temperatures caused from the diluting.
“Currently, 96% sulphuric acid is readily available but it is more challenging to obtain lower strengths of the product, chiefly because diluting sulphuric acid is a difficult process due to the heat generated during dilution, so it needs to be cooled properly.
“We’re excited that we’re now fully equipped to manufacture it safely, at substantial volumes and reaching more markets with our increasing portfolio.”
Airedale Group has been based in Cross Hills since 1994 and provides chemicals and contract manufacturing to markets including agriculture, dairy, water treatment and waste management.