Explosion at T2 Laboratories

AIChE Webinar
Originally delivered Sep 22, 2010

At 1:33 pm on December 19, 2007, a powerful explosion and subsequent chemical fire killed four employees and destroyed T2 Laboratories, Inc. (T2), a chemical manufacturer in Jacksonville, Florida. It injured 32, including four employees and 28 members of the public who were working in surrounding businesses. Debris from the reactor was found up to one mile away, and the explosion damaged buildings within one quarter mile of the facility.

On December 19, T2 was producing its 175th batch of methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MCMT). At 1:23 pm, the process operator had an outside operator call the owners to report a cooling problem and request they return to the site. Upon their return, one of the two owners went to the control room to assist. A few minutes later, at 1:33 pm, the reactor burst and its contents exploded, killing the owner and process operator who were in the control room and two outside operators who were exiting the reactor area.

The CSB found that a runaway exothermic reaction occurred during the first (metalation) step of the MCMT process. The CSB tested the T2 batch recipe to determine the most likely failure scenario. A loss of sufficient cooling during the process likely resulted in the runaway reaction, leading to an uncontrollable pressure and temperature rise in the reactor. The pressure burst the reactor and the reactor’s contents ignited creating an explosion equivalent to 1,400 pounds of TNT.

This webinar discusses the CSB investigation and findings.

Professional Development Hours
1.0 PDHs
You will be able to download and print a certificate for these PDH credits once the content has been viewed. If you have already viewed this content, please click here to login.
Presenter(s): 

Robert J. Hall, P.E.

Robert Hall is a Supervisory Investigator for the U.S. Chemical and Hazard Investigation Board.  He has more than 30 years experience in the design, inspection, and evaluation of hazardous systems, specializing in mechanical integrity and regulatory compliance programs.  He is also a member of the ASME B31.4/11 Committee for Hazardous Liquid and Slurry Transportation Pipelines. 

Robert has a Bachelors Degree in Nuclear Engineering for the Pennsylvania State University and a Masters Degree in Energy, Resources, and Environment from the George Washington University.  He is also a...

Would you like to access this content?

No problem. You just have to complete the following steps.

You have completed 0 of 2 steps.

  1. Log in

    You must be logged in to view this content. Log in now.

  2. Purchase Webinar

    You must purchase this webinar using one of the options below.
    If you already purchased this content recently, please click here to refresh the system's record of ownerships.

Pricing

Credits 1 Use credits
List Price $99.00 Buy now
AIChE Members $69.00 Buy now
AIChE Undergraduate Student Members Free Free access
AIChE Graduate Student Members $69.00 Buy now
Webinar content is available with the kind permission of the author(s) solely for the purpose of furthering AIChE’s mission to educate, inform and improve the practice of professional chemical engineering. All other uses are forbidden without the express consent of the author(s). For permission to re-use, please contact chemepermissions@aiche.org.