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Diethyl Ether (DEE): Safety and Health Consideration

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Hazard, Safety & environmental Risks for Diethyl ether production. Factors affecting human health. Plant safety with better process control.

Publicado en: Ingeniería
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Diethyl Ether (DEE): Safety and Health Consideration

  1. 1. 57 CHAPTER 8 SAFETY AND HEALTH CONSIDERATIONS The safety of working personnel in a chemical plant is of prime most considerations. The principal ways in which chemicals may enter our body are- Ø Ingestion Ø Skin Ø Absorption Ø Inhalation Safety consideration: For safety of every individual working in the plant one should not ignore the standard procedures for operating the equipment. One should never take risks to save time and avoid work and use of shortcuts or approximate readings. Safety of the workers as well as the personnel safety depends upon the sincerity and accuracy of the operator. Safety should never be compromise by anything. The loss of individual life can never be compromised by cash profit. Hence during operation of a plant, safety should be prime importance.[15] Safe operations The goal of chemical plant is not only to produce the chemicals, but to produce them safely. In the plant’s operations, chainloss of control processes anywhere can lead to accidents and losses of life and property from hazards. Attempts should be to prevent troubles from the inspection, while designing, fabricating and operating. Chemical Hazards Many chemicals can cause dangerous burns if they come in contact with tissues. Dehydration by strong dehydrating, agents, digestion by strong acids and bases and oxidation by strong oxidizing agents can destroy living tissues. Eyes Possible sources of fire are reduced by eliminating all unnecessary ignition sources such as flames, sparks of heated, materials, matches, smoking, welding, cutting static electricity, spontaneous combustion and non-
  2. 2. 58 explosion proof electrical equipment are all potential ignition sources. Possible sources of fire are reduced by eliminating all unnecessary ignition sources such as flames, sparks of heated, materials, matches, smoking welding, cutting static electricity, spontaneous combustion and non-explosion proof electrical equipment are all potential ignition sources. Safety in plant There are primarily two types of major hazards in petrochemical industry:- a) The first is due to flammability low flash point and wide explosive limits of the chemicals handled. b) Toxic hazard due to toxicity and carcinogenicity of various chemicals. Complete understanding of the chemicals, their physical and chemical properties, especially with respect to reactivity is very important for their safe handling. Fire and Explosion Hazard Careful plant layout and judicious choice of constructional material reduced the chance of this hazard. Hazardous operation should be designed to meet the specification and codes. Adequate venting is necessary and it is advisable to provide protection by using both spring loaded values and rupture disks. First aid measures Inhalation Ø Remove to fresh air. Ø If not breathing, give artificial respiration. Ø If breathing is difficult, give oxygen. Ø Call a physician. Ingestion Ø If swallowed, do not induce vomiting. Ø Give large quantities of water. Ø Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. Ø Get medical attention immediately. Ø Aspiration hazard.
  3. 3. 59 Skin Contact Ø In case of contact, immediately flush skin with plenty of soap and water for at least 15 minutes while removing contaminated clothing and shoes. Ø Wash clothing before reuse. Ø Call a physician. Eye Contact Ø Immediately flush eyes with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes, lifting lower and upper eyelids occasionally. Ø Get medical attention immediately. [17] Shipment and Handling Ethanol and diethyl ether are both very flammable, and as such careful attention must be paid to their transportation to and from and storage at the facility. Ethanol spontaneously combusts at about 420°C. The reactors operate below this limit (250°C). It is very important to invest in accurate and careful controllers to ensure that the temperatures in the Reactor never reach this level. Measures should be taken to ensure that minute leaks in process equipment, particularly the separation units which handle highly concentrated diethyl ether, can be quickly detected and isolated. Diethyl ether is hazardous, flammable, colorless liquid with a sweet, characteristic smell. Diethyl ether stored in a pressure drums with an inhibitor such as 1-napthol to prevent peroxide formation. It is stored in mild steel containers. Blanketing with nitrogen is recommended but not essential. Tin plate cans, mild steel drums and aluminum containers are suitable. Being heavier than air, ether vapor creeps along the ground. Therefore good ventilation is necessary when it is handled to prevent the formation of ignitable mix. If glass or plastic containers are used filling should be prepared by metallic pipeline that is below the surface of ether or by placing ground chains or other metabolic conductors in the free flowing ether to remove static electric charge. Material safety data sheet (MSDS) of ethanol and diethyl ether is in appendix B.

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