(339a) CSB Recommendations From the T2 Laboratories Inc. Investigation | AIChE

(339a) CSB Recommendations From the T2 Laboratories Inc. Investigation


Gunaratnam, R. T. - Presenter, U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board investigated an explosion and fire at the T2 Laboratories, Inc. in Jacksonville, Florida on December 19, 2007. The incident killed four employees and injured 32 others, including employees and members of the public in nearby businesses. In the course of producing a gasoline additive, a runaway exothermic reaction led to an uncontrollable pressure and temperature rise, causing the reactor to burst, ignite and explode. The CSB concluded that the cooling and relief systems were inadequate to control the runaway reaction. The investigation found that the owners of T2 had no prior reactive chemistry experience, though one was a chemist and other a chemical engineer. Further investigation revealed that most baccalaureate chemical engineering curricula in the U.S. do not specifically address reactive hazard recognition or management. The CSB recommended that ABET and AIChE collaborate to require that reactive hazard awareness become part of baccalaureate chemical engineering curricula. This paper will discuss an overview of the ABET process; what changes AIChe has proposed for the CSB recommendations; and provide an update on the current status of these recommendations.