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Accidents caused by static electricity

Accidents caused by static electricity

Issue Time:2021-05-17

Accidents caused by static electricity

On January 8, 2010, the Petrochemical Plant of PetroChina Lanzhou Petrochemical Company, Lanzhou City, Gansu Province, exploded and caught fire. After investigation of the accident, we knew it was caused by the leakage of the cracked carbon tank, which caused the concentration of combustible gas on site to reach the explosive limit. The released combustible gas generated static sparks caused an explosion and fire. The accident caused 5 people to be seriously injured and 1 person was missing.

According to data, in petrochemical plants, about 80% to 90% of the substances have fire and explosion hazards. Through experiments, it is known that substances with a resistivity of 10m or less can generate static electricity. Petrochemical gases such as gasoline, benzene, ether and other petrochemical gases have a resistivity between 1010m and 1012m, which can generate and store static electricity.

During material leakage, friction stirring, gas-liquid flow, gluing operations, injection molding operations and transportation in chemical products and rubber products, many electrostatic charges can appear, and the voltage can reach tens of thousands of volts. Discharge in the premises of static electricity fire or explosion can ignite combustible benzene, hydrogen, liquid vapor, explosive mixtures produced by combustible particles and air, as well as chemical flammable products, resulting in fire or explosion.

If static sparks accompany the human body to walk into the production area, it becomes a dangerous ignition source that is highly fluid, highly concealed, and difficult to grasp. The electrostatic discharge energy of the human body can reach tens of millijoules, and it is very easy to ignite combustible benzene, hydrogen and combustible particles to cause fire and explosion accidents.

Therefore, in hazardous areas, the static electricity grounding alarm to the container and a Personal Electrostatic Eliminating Alarm/Static personal Ground Tester are indispensable devices for safe production. ALPTEC has been focusing on static control in hazardous area for more than 24 years and hope we can help you.