A recent article in the Industrial Fire Journal outlined the hazards of combustible dust specific to the coal industry. Having worked with players in the coal industry before, we thought the article was extremely interesting and informative.
We recommend reading the entire piece, but here are some of the highlights as they relate to explosion ventilation in the coal industry:
"Allowing dust deposits to accumulate on I-beams or under conveyor belts is the equivalent of leaving gasoline in close proximity to ignition sources."
"The lack of following-through on proper engineering and design of the explosion ventilation, fire detection and suppression system is risky business: the low bid is typically not the best system solution, and could be an indication that the contractor has little or limited knowledge concerning coal handling hazards."
"You may be incident-free this week, or for the month, or during a particular year, but eventually this abundance of fuel accumulating around the plant is going to lead to a major fire or explosion. It is not a matter of “if” you will have a fire or explosion, but “when”."
"Combustible dust poses a severe hazard to the coal power industry...When Float dust is dispersed in the air at the minimum explosive concentration (MEC), and an ignition source is present, a deflagration will occur that – with the right conditions – can destroy a plant..."
Read the entire article here.
***The quotes from this post were originally published in an article in the April 2009 issue of Industrial Fire Journal. The authors are Justin Clift, Industrial Market Specialist at Hazard Control Technologies Hazard Control Technology and John Astad, Director/Research Analyst Combustible Dust Policy Institute.***
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