Understanding the Hazards and Potential Impacts of Ammonia Released to the Atmosphere
Thomas O. Spicer, PhD, PE
Ammonia is well known to be a toxic and also flammable material. The consequences of the loss of containment of ammonia depend importantly on its storage conditions (temperature and pressure) prior to release. Ammonia released from pressurized storage has been shown to form an air/ammonia cloud which will be denser-than-air. Ammonia released from refrigerated storage at ambient pressure can form an air/ammonia cloud which can be positively buoyant near the release point. Denser-than-air materials behave quite differently from positively buoyant materials in releases to the atmosphere, and the consequences of a denser-than-air release are typically more significant than those of a positively buoyant release. This paper discusses the importance of storage conditions (and quantity stored) on the potential consequences of an ammonia release from containment with regard to its toxic and flammable hazards.
Dr. Tom Spicer is Professor and Maurice E. Martin Barker Chair in Chemical Engineering at the University of Arkansas. He is a member of the AIChE Safety and Chemical Engineering Education (SAChE) Committee, the AIChE Education and Accreditation Committee, and is a Fellow of AIChE. As Director of the Chemical Hazards Research Center, Tom’s primary research interests are in the assessment of hazards from airborne contaminants, particularly those that are denser than air. Tom was a member of the Scientific Advisory Group that provided guidance to the Jack Rabbit II Test Program, a two year effort to assess consequences of chlorine released to the environment.
Process safety issues in ammonia production, storage and transport – A Process Safety perspective from India
The paper deals with an overview of the fertilizer industry in India, the process safety issues related to ammonia production, especially with plants of the older vintage, atmospheric storage of ammonia – process safety and security issues, and the risk involved in transportation of ammonia. A brief requirement of associated Indian regulatory requirements will also be discussed. Few incidents involved with ammonia production, storage and transport will also be discussed.
Mr. Karthikeyan is a Chemical Engineer from Madras University, Chennai, India, with over 36 years experience in the Chemical Industry in Operations, Technical Services and Process Safety Management. He has worked in India and abroad. His extensive practical experience includes the implementation and auditing of Process Safety Management System as per OSHA CFR 1910.119 and EPA’s 40 CFR 68 Risk Management Program. He has provided process safety consultancy and training services for many organizations in India, Germany, South Africa, Greece, Malaysia, Oman, Indonesia, Abu Dhabi and Jordan.
He has worked at senior management level in Madras Fertilisers Limited, E.I.D Parry (India) limited, (as Dy. General Manager for Process Safety Management) and internationally with National Methanol Co., Saudi Arabia (a SABIC and Celanese joint venture).
He has carried out over 350 audits of Process Safety Management Systems in both continuous and batch processes, chaired numerous HAZOP studies worldwide and investigated many process related incidents.
He has published many papers in leading magazines on Process Safety management and presented many papers on Process Safety Management in national and international seminars.
He is also the author of the book “Practical Process Safety Management”, the proceeds of which are donated to the surviving victims of the Bhopal gas disaster.
His article “Moving Process Safety into the Boardroom” has been published in the September 2015 issue of Chemical Engineering Progress of American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
He is a senior member of the American Institute of Chemical engineers and is an approved trained for CCPS, USA for their 4 day Fundamentals of Process Safety Course.
He blogs regularly on process safety topics at http://indiaprocesssafety.blogspot.com
His LinkedIn profile can be accessed at http://www.linkedin.com/in/karthikeyanprocesssafety
State of the Art Ammonia Plants and Global Project Execution Capabilities
Nowadays we see an increasing demand for small and mid-scale ammonia plants. The reasons are manifold. High insurance cost for ammonia transport drive the local farm industry to “on site” production in the US where there is access to cheap shale gas or in other regions of the world where stranded gas is available. Other customers like the mining industry needs ammonia as a raw material for their on site production of explosives. Industrial complexes in the chemical industry often can accommodate a variety of products beside ammonia, like hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and CO2 or even sell them to the merchant market. These scenarios are the economical sweet spot for the small- and mid scale plants.
Speed and easy implementation in geographies with hostile environmental conditions or a lack of qualified labor promote off site modularization in order to meet schedule and budget. EPC companies who have also a technology background and are able to combine adequate engineering tools with project execution capabilities can make these challenging projects a success.
Mr. Tikovsky Holds Master of Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University in Munich.
He is holding the position of Executive Vice President of the Global Product Line Hydrogen & Syngas Plants in Linde .
he has Joined Linde in 1990 as a trainee in various technical departments.
- Project Manager and Site Manager for international projects, amongst them two 1000MTPD ammonia projects in China based on Partial Oxidation.
- Over 10 years of international assignments (China, Korea, USA, South America, Italy).
- Managing Director of Linde Impianti Italia (subsidiary of Linde Engineering).
- Managing Director of Selas Linde (subsidiary of Linde Engineering).
Ammonia Safety, a Global Perspective
Mr. Anderson is an engineering graduate of the University of Iowa with 45+ years’ experience in the refrigeration, air conditioning, appliance, construction and ammonia industries. He currently is a consultant on ammonia safety, chemical safety/security, process safety, risk management, hazardous materials, emergency response, and refrigeration technology.
A Life Member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers, he has been a Director at Large, Vice Chair of the Technology Council and a member of ASHRAE standing, technical and research project committees. His involvement with ammonia research projects includes: Absorption of Ammonia into Water (RP-591), Combustion of Ammonia (RP-682), Forced Dispersion of Ammonia Plumes into the Atmosphere (RP-813), Condensation-Induced Hydraulic Shock (RP-970), Flow Regime and Pressure Drop Determination for Two-Phase Ammonia (RP-1327), CFD Study of Hydraulic Shock in Two-Phase Anhydrous Ammonia (RP-1569), and Guide for Sustainable Refrigerated Facilities and Refrigeration Systems (RP-1634). He is coauthor of the ASHRAE Refrigeration Handbook chapter on “Carbon Dioxide as a Refrigerant”.
In 1990, Mr. Anderson was named Chief Executive of the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration and served as President/CEO until he retired in 2007 as President Emeritus. Among the technical materials developed during his tenure were the IIAR Ammonia Data Book, Guidelines for Process Safety and Risk Management of Ammonia Refrigeration Systems, American National Standards for ammonia refrigeration, and industry best practice guidance bulletins for ammonia systems.
Anderson has served as Chair, Vice Chair, Director and a Speaker/Instructor for the non-profit Ammonia Safety and Training Institute, and was a member of the Chemical Sector Coordinating Council for the US Department of Homeland Security. He is a voting member for the American National Standard on “Safety Requirements for the Storage and Handling of Anhydrous Ammonia”.