Explosion Features of Flocculent Dusts | AIChE

Explosion Features of Flocculent Dusts


Danzi, E. - Presenter, Politecnico di Torino
Marmo, L., Politecnico di Torino
Di Benedetto, A., Università di Napoli Federico II

Wool is recognized as the most flame-resistant among the natural textile fibers. But despite this, at least one huge accidents happened involving wool factories: the one that occurred in the factory “Pettinatura Italiana” (Italy) in 2001 (Salatino et al., 2012). In general the textile compart is affected by dust explosion phenomena, as demonstrated by the explosion occurred in the Harbin Linen Textile Plant (PRC) in 1987 (Echkoff, 2003).

During processing of textile fibers and storage of byproducts, lighter components of wool may increase eventually forming suspensions of wool flocks that may burn in an unexpected way. As a consequence, the flammability and explosion behavior of raw materials may not be representative of the safety of the whole process. On the other hand, wool dusts have a fiber-like shape and, thus, measurements of their flammability/explosion parameters are quite affected by the nozzle type (Slatter et al., 2015).

In this work, we aim at evaluating the role of the peculiar features of wool dusts (shape, chemical composition) on the dispersion and turbulence. To this end, we fully evaluate the chemical/physical properties (particle size distribution, morphology, and chemical composition) and the explosion parameters (Pmax and KST) of various samples of dusts of the dusts collected from different textile factories during different phases of the process.

For each dust, outcomes of the physical/chemical characterization are correlated to the measurements of Pmax and KST and to the dispersion efficiency and the turbulence generated.


Echkoff, R. K., Dust explosions in the process industry, 3rd ed.; Gulf Professional Publishing: Oxford, U.K., 2003.

Salatino, P., Di Benedetto, A., Chirone, R., Salzano, E., Sanchirico, R. “Analysis of an Explosion in a Wool-Processing Plant”. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 51(22):7713-7718 (2012).

David J.F. Slatter, Hamed Sattar, Clara Huescar Medina, Gordon E. Andrews, Herodotos N. Phylaktou, Bernard M. Gibbs, Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries 36: 318-325 (2015)