January 2011

Plant Safety and Environment

Considerations for blast-resistant electrical equipment centers

Guidelines explore protecting critical systems from disaster

Cole, D., Austin, D., Lectrus Corp.

It is no secret that many of the process technologies within the hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) carry their own set of challenges and risks. Inherent in the HPI is the continual concern for worker and operations protection in the event of an explosion and fire. The ongoing history of refining is replete with accounts of disasters arising from simple and complex causes. Pipe corrosion was determined to be the prime cause of a May 2009 explosion and fire at the ethylene unit of Sunoco’s Marcus Hook refinery, located in Delaware. Superheated feedstock leaked out of a rusty pipe and ignited. The result was a vapor-cloud explosion (VCE). Even though the refining industry has experienc

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