CSB blames cooling system flaw for T2 blast

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Sept. 15
-- Failure of a cooling system contributed to a December 2007 explosion and fire at a gasoline additive manufacturing plant owned by T2 Laboratories in Jacksonville, Fla., the US Chemical Safety Board said in a draft report issued Sept. 15.

Concluding that T2 owners did not recognize all potential hazards of the chemical process involved with making the gasoline additive, CSB’s staff recommended improving the education of chemical engineering students about reactive chemical hazards.

The Dec. 19, 2007, explosion and fire killed four T2 employees and injured four others. Another 28 people working at nearby businesses were injured when the blast blew in windows and building walls.

“This is one of the largest reactive chemical accidents that CSB has investigated,” said CSB Chairman John Bresland. “We hope our findings once again call attention to the need for companies to be aware of how to control reactive chemical hazards.”

In 2002, the CSB completed a study of reactive chemical hazards that identified 167 accidents during 20 years and made recommendations to improve reactive chemical safety.

The 2007 accident happened during T2’s production of MCMT, a gasoline additive. Chemical testing by CSB found the recipe used by T2 caused two heat-producing reactions. The first was an intended part of producing MCMT, but a second reaction was triggered when temperatures went slightly higher than the normal production temperature in the plant’s 2,500-gal reactor.

“The cooling system likely malfunctioned due to a blockage in the water supply piping or a valve failure,” CSB said. “The temperature and pressure inside the reactor began to rise uncontrollably in a runaway chemical reaction.”

Related Articles

Judge bars Anadarko e-mails as evidence in Macondo blowout hearing

03/21/2014 A federal district judge in New Orleans refused to accept e-mails between Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and BP PLC as evidence in a hearing to determine...

BOEM extends proposed higher offshore liability limit comment period

03/20/2014 The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management added 30 days to the public comment period for its proposed higher liability limit for offshore oil and ga...

Begich objects to House Democrats’ NPR-A comment extension request

03/18/2014 US Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alas.) let three US House Democrats know he did not approve of their request for the US Bureau of Land Management to add 30 ...

EPA lifts post-Macondo contract suspension in agreement with BP

03/14/2014 The US Environmental Protection Agency and BP PLC reached an agreement that will effectively end the bar on new federal contracts imposed on the mu...

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected