Avoid Splash Loading

Image © EPSC


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 Important

  • 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.

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