Electrostatic Hazards in the Processing Industry

Our electrostatic hazards courses discuss and demonstrate how and where electrostatic charges are generated, how electrostatic issues are analyzed, and how effective remedies are applied. Courses are offered at 3 levels:

  • Introductory Level
  • Core Competency
  • Advanced

Here we illustrate a typical course at the Core Competency level. Sample course:

Who Should Attend

Personnel (e.g., management, technical, operations and maintenance) involved with process safety, EH&S, process design, operations and maintenance from the chemical & processing industries, including bulk and finished pharmaceuticals, chemicals, petrochemicals, oil and gas, food, plastic & rubber, metals, textiles, wood & paper and agrochemicals who desire a more in depth understanding of electrostatic hazards.

Learning Objectives

This course will discuss and demonstrate how and where electrostatic charge is generated, how to analyze static problems, and how to apply effective solutions. Practical static control techniques will be illustrated by examining case histories of explosion incidents investigated by the course instructor.  You will learn:

  • How electrostatic charge is generated in industrial environments
  • How to recognize those electrostatic hazards that can trigger industrial fires and explosions
  • How to choose methods to evaluate and control electrostatic charge in order to reduce or eliminate such risks

Course Outline

  • Introduction to Electrostatics
    • Background Information and Definitions
  • Types of Electrostatic Discharges
    • Four Types of Discharges
    • Evaluation of discharges in terms of incendivity in Gas, Vapor, Aerosol and Dust Cloud Flammable Atmospheres
    • Hands-on Demonstration of various types of discharges in the laboratory
  • Factors Affecting Electrostatics
    • Relative Humidity
    • Temperature
    • Resistivity of Powders and Liquids
    • Transport Mechanism (pneumatic, screw, spray, manual pouring etc)
    • Immiscible Flows
  • Tests to Evaluate Electrostatic Characteristics of Powders and Liquids
    • Volume Resistivity and Charge Relaxation Time – Powder
    • Chargeability – Powder
    • Conductivity – Liquid
    • Chargeability – Liquid
  • Electrostatic Hazards Evaluation

A systematic approach to the diagnosis of electrostatic hazards associated with:

  • People, Equipment and Facilities
  • Powder Handling
  • Liquid-Vapor Handling
  • Use of Plastics
  • Use of Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers (FIBCs) (Super sacks)
  • Video presentation
  • Case studies
  • Q&A/ Group discussion
  • Quiz

Course Description

Many processes and operations in a chemical plant involve handling and processing of liquids and powders, most of which could, under certain conditions, be flammable.  Flammable gas, vapor and dust cloud atmospheres can be ignited if a sufficiently energetic ignition source is present. One potential ignition source that, in many cases, could be an inherent part of the process/operation, is an electrostatic discharge. The course explains how electrostatic charge generation occurs whenever two materials, liquids and/or solids, make and then break contact with each other. It looks at where accumulation of electrostatic charge can take place and how this can result in the creation of electrostatic discharges. The course goes on to discuss how electrostatic hazards can be systematically assessed and to explain the measures that can be taken to control static and thus mitigate the risk of flash fires and explosions. Why Work With Stonehouse Process Safety
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