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Dust Explosion in a Hydrogenator

The Incident

The hydrogenation vessel had been under maintenance for internal vessel inspection.  On the first day after hand over to production, 1,8-Naphthalene-dicarboxylic-acid-anhydride was added to the vessel by a powder screw conveyor.  Shortly after lunchtime the addition was completed. At that instant, a 'pop' sound came from the vessel.  There was no fire or explosion with effects outside of the vessel.

Cause

Immediate on-site investigation was carried out

Findings:

The cause of dust fire was attributed to static discharges in combination with the incomplete inerting.  Two types of discharge could have caused the incident:

NB) The critical diameter for cone discharges is d[m] = 0.6 x M[mm]-0.435 x MIE[mJ] 0.298

Measures taken

Lessons Learnt

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