When loading non conductive flammable liquids, an explosive atmosphere will be created in the tank, that can ignite when electrically charged droplets generate a spark.
- When transferring flammable liquids.
- When liquids fall down and form droplets.
Challenges in the Field
- Lack of knowledge.
- Design issues, e.g. on pump or loading dip-pipe.
- Communication (ship – shore).
Options to Get it Right
- Assure that the loading speed in the drop-down pipe in the vessel is below 1 m/s when start filling! This assures droplets are only little loaded and can not form sparks.
- When loading ships this is arranged in a ship-shore agreement, that should include the pipe diameter and pump speed.
- Ensure that pipelines, tanks, vessels are grounded.
- When the filling pipe is submerged below the liquid level inside the vessel or tank, the risk for splashing has gone and pump speed can be increased.
- Inertisation can eliminate an explosive atmosphere.
- Understand which chemicals are flammable liquids with low conductivity (like benzene, kerosene, butane – heptane).
- These are highly hazardous as they form an explosive mixture with air and dissipate static electricity slowly.
This page only summarises the guidance – refer to the EPSC website for further information.
For more information on our Process Safety Fundamentals (or other) playing cards please contact us.