Effect of Physical Properties of Particulates on Fires and Dust Explosions

  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    March 14, 2011
  • Duration:
    30 minutes
  • Skill Level:
  • PDHs:

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There has been a dramatic approach in the way we are implementing process safety guidelines and standards for combustible. This is particularly true for North America where there have been devastating dust explosions occurring for the last 10 years or so. Following this, OSHA has initiated NEP, National Emphasis Program on combustible dusts, and since 2007, National Fire Protection Agency, NFPA has issued standards on combustible dusts and has higher probability for being accepted by OSHA as well. A comparison will also be made between NFPA and European standard, ATEX which is a law.

In light of the above, one thing that stands out in the NFPA standard 654 is the basic definition for particle size and this has consequences when it comes to implementation. This presentation is focused on studying the past explosions in the US and further understanding how particle size distribution and other product properties such as size, shape, density, static charging and flowability may have influenced these incidents. Such a treatment will benefit both the practitioners and academics and no doubt will shed light on closing some of the gaps in this "uncertain" area and initiate useful discussions for better implementation.

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