Keynote speakers

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.


NH3 Energy+: Optimal Fuel, Fertilizer, and Energy Storage Medium

Norman K. Olson

NH3 (aka “The Other Hydrogen”) rises above other alternative fuel candidates based on its stellar characteristics and numerous additional benefits beyond its use as a fuel. Simply stated, NH3 is the most cost-effective, energy dense means of storing and delivering hydrogen. NH3: has excellent environmental performance; extremely high engine efficiency potential; can be produced from any and all primary energy sources; has excellent end-use flexibility; and has a decades-long, proven, acceptable safety record. The fact that NH3 also serves as the most cost-effective means of delivering nitrogen fertilizer provides enormous additional benefits, especially to developing countries. NH3 is: an optimal solution for long-term storage of intermittent/stranded renewable energy; an efficient, environmentally friendly refrigerant; an excellent household cleaner; and a versatile chemical precursor. No other alternative fuel can deliver the comprehensive benefits associated with NH3.

norm olson

Over forty years of experience in energy efficiency and alternative fuels projects.

Registered Professional Engineer since 1982.

Past experience includes work as: Product Design Engineer for Lennox Industries; Product Design Engineer for Dunham-Bush Inc.; Chief Engineer for the Iowa Energy Policy Council; Energy Manager for the University of Iowa; and Project Manager for the Iowa Energy Center’s Energy Resource Station (ERS).

Currently employed as Biomass and Alternative Fuels Program Manager at the Iowa Energy Center (IEC). Manage the IEC’s Biomass Energy CONversion (BECON) Facility. BECON is a facility with six pre-commercial-scale systems designed to convert biomass into a wide variety of chemicals and fuels.

Currently serve as President of the NH3 Fuel Association Board of Directors.

The main objectives at BECON are to strengthen the rural economy and decrease U.S. dependence on imported petroleum by developing cost-effective methods of converting agricultural-based plant materials into value-added chemicals and fuels. Program elements supporting implementation of the biorefinery concept at BECON include demonstration, training, education, testing and performance verification in addition to research.

The overarching goal of the NH3 Fuel Association is to catalyze the adoption of NH3 as the world’s primary liquid transportation and power generation fuel.


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

His LinkedIn profile can be accessed at



Kent Anderson

Past CEO of the IIAR (International Institute of Ammonia Refrigerants). 

An expert with accidents and safety issues related to ammonia