The History of Zaclon

The Cleveland Plant is Born!

The year is 1836 and an Italian entrepreneur named Eugene Grasselli is eyeing America as the land of opportunity. Eugene had been working in his father’s growing chemical manufacturing business located in France. The industry was in its infancy and Eugene was anxious to strike out on his own. Eugene Grasselli had been educated in Strasburg and Heidelberg where he learned the art of Sulfuric Acid manufacture from his studies while under the tutelage of his father, Giavanni. So, Eugene left the comfort of his home in France, and set out for America. The journey took 5 ½ months, crossing the Atlantic in a small sailing vessel. The trip was perilous but in early 1837, Eugene landed in Philadelphia. He had 2 cents in his pocket.

In Philadelphia, Eugene found employment with Farr & Kunzie Chemical for $1 per day. While working for Farr & Kunzie in Philadelphia, Eugene struck up a friendship with another local chemical
manufacturer named DuPont. This friendship would come into play later. Eugene worked for Farr &
Kunzie for two years until in 1839 he decided to set out for Cincinnati, Ohio in order to start his own
Sulfuric Acid manufacturing plant under his own name, Grasselli Chemical. Grasselli’s first sulfuric acid plant started up in 1839 in Cincinnati. Cincinnati had a thriving soap industry (think P&G) and sulfuric acid was in high demand for soap processing. Grasselli’s Cincinnati plant thrived selling mainly to the soap industry. But while in Cincinnati, Eugene met a young merchant named John D. Rockefeller.

Rockefeller was developing another use for sulfuric acid – oil refining. And oil refining was centered in Cleveland Ohio, the location of Rockefeller’s #1 refinery. So, in 1865, Eugene set out for Cleveland to find a site for his second sulfuric acid manufacturing plant. He found the perfect site only ½ mile from Rockefeller’s #1 refinery located on flat land surrounded by hillsides for natural draft. The site was located in what later became known as Cleveland’s Industrial Flats. And thus, in 1866, Zaclon’s
Cleveland Plant was born producing sulfuric acid for John D. Rockefeller’s #1 refinery. 

Posted by Joe and Jim in History

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Galvanizing 106

By Robert Woods
April 01, 2021 Category: Galvanizing

Galvanizing 106 As noted in the last commentary, tanks with either sodium hydroxide (aka caustic or an alkaline degreaser) or phosphoric or other acid (acid degreaser) are the two most common cleaning solutions for North American galvanizers. Well talk a bit about acid degreasing in this note. Acidic Degreasing Phosphoric-based As the name implies, acidic degreasing is done using chemicals that have a low pH, below pH of 7. The issue with acid-side cleaning is that strong acids like hydrochloric or sulfuric are poor at lifting soil from the surface of the incoming steel. To combat this, most stand-alone acid degreasers use a different acid, phosphoric acid, as the base for the cleaning. It is not great on its own, though, and so a number of components are added in a very complex balance to get the best cleaning results. Hydronet, the acidic degreaser from Zaclon, is such a balanced effective degreaser. Based on phosphoric acid, it has additives to lift soils, greases, oil, and convert

Galvanizing 105

By Robert Woods
April 01, 2021 Category: Galvanizing

Robert M. Woods SO how do we clean parts if we dont want to use (or only use) mechanical cleaning, or anything but spot-treat with solvent cleaners? Using dip tanks with either sodium hydroxide (aka caustic or an alkaline degreaser) or phosphoric or other acid (acid degreaser) are the two most common cleaning solutions for North American galvanizers. Well talk a bit about alkaline degreasing here, and acid degreasing next time. Alkaline/Caustic Degreasing Caustic is used interchangeably with sodium hydroxide, the primary component in these types of cleaners. The high pH (highly alkaline) solution can react with many oils and greases, particularly natural oils, and since it typically is heated to 135 F or more, the bath is more generally active. Caustic is typically kept at about 10% concentration, by adding fresh caustic solution (50%) or the pellet-form solid. The strong alkaline nature of this bath does make it more hazardous chemically than most of the other tanks in a galvanizer,

Galvanizing 103

By Robert Woods
April 01, 2021 Category: Galvanizing

In the last installment, we looked a little at the broad range of cleaning technologies available to a galvanizer. Picking the right one depends on both experience and a little luck! If the customer can possibly tell you what sorts of cutting fluids, lubes, etc. they use, picking the right way to clean is simpler. For example, if they only use a paint marker, and not much else, then there are at least 2 easy-ish ways to take it off---quick spray of paint remover, then a caustic or acidic degrease will likely take it off. Usually, of course, the steel picks up stuff all they way along, from the steelmaker themselves, to the trucking, to the initial fabrication, to secondary fabrication and storage perhaps outside, then more trucking, and possibly sitting in the snow, rain, wildfire smoke, flooding and mud, even saltwater. At this point there could literally be hundreds of different things on the steel! So, what does a cleaner have to do to all of this crud to open things up for the de-rusting?

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