Static Electricity in Industry: Preventing Explosions of Dusts and Volatile Fluids

Course Number: E-2021
Credit: 2 PDH
Subject Matter Expert: Edward P. Brunet, Jr., P.E.
Price: $59.90 Purchase using Reward Tokens. Details
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Overview

In Static Electricity in Industry: Preventing Explosions of Dusts and Volatile Fluids, you'll learn ...

  • The four different ways that charge separation can be induced in a material, resulting in static electricity
  • The four common types of electrostatic discharge, along with the discharge energies involved
  • The five general conditions necessary for an electrostatic ignition hazard to be present
  • The ignition energy and characteristics of gases, aerosols/foams, combustible dusts and hybrid vapor-dust mixtures as they relate to static discharge hazards

Overview

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Credit: 2 PDH

Length: 25 pages

The phenomenon of static electricity is ever-present, and is generated continuously through relative motion – in other words whenever surfaces of materials come into contact and separate. Typical examples of this in industry includes liquids flowing through pipes or filling into drums and tanks, powder dropping down a chute – and even a person walking across the floor in shoes with rubber soles.

Recent incidents in industry have intensified the general awareness of the hazards arising from static electricity, particularly in operations involving flammable solvents and many other flammable, low-conductivity materials.

In this course, you’ll learn the various ways that static charges form as well as the energy produced by static charges and the amount of energy required to ignite flammable vapors and dusts. You’ll learn design and operating guidelines that are necessary to mitigate the potential for explosions in hazardous areas. A case study is presented of an explosion at a chemical distribution facility in Des Moines, Iowa that was caused by a static discharge.

Specific Knowledge or Skill Obtained

This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Causes of static electricity
  • The difference between contact-induced, heat-induced and pressure-induced charge separation
  • The amount of energy released in a static electricity discharge
  • The difference between sparks, brush discharges, and cone discharges
  • The relationship between the minimum ignition energy of solvent vapors and their concentration
  • How oxygen content and static pressure influence the static discharge explosion potential of a flammable vapor
  • Why dust clouds are less sensitive to ignition than flammable gases and yet are more likely to be associated with electrostatic ignition due to their propensity to generate electrostatic charge through handling
  • How static electricity is generated when handling powders, dusts and flammable liquids
  • Design and operating guidelines to prevent and/or dissipate the build-up of static charges
  • The three factors that determine the amount of charge generated on a liquid flowing in a straight pipe
  • How particle size, velocity, wall material, temperature and humidity affect the levels of electrostatic potential of a flammable dust being transported through ductwork
  • Newer technologies used in intermediate bulk containers that are designed to dissipate static charges
  • Managing risks through hazardous area classifications
  • Lessons learned from a fire and series of explosions at the Barton Solvents, Des Moines, Iowa, chemical distribution facility

Certificate of Completion

You will be able to immediately print a certificate of completion after passing a multiple-choice quiz consisting of 12 questions. PDH credits are not awarded until the course is completed and quiz is passed.

Board Acceptance
This course is applicable to professional engineers in:
Alabama (P.E.) Alaska (P.E.) Arkansas (P.E.)
Delaware (P.E.) Florida (P.E. Area of Practice) Georgia (P.E.)
Idaho (P.E.) Illinois (P.E.) Illinois (S.E.)
Indiana (P.E.) Iowa (P.E.) Kansas (P.E.)
Kentucky (P.E.) Louisiana (P.E.) Maine (P.E.)
Maryland (P.E.) Michigan (P.E.) Minnesota (P.E.)
Mississippi (P.E.) Missouri (P.E.) Montana (P.E.)
Nebraska (P.E.) Nevada (P.E.) New Hampshire (P.E.)
New Jersey (P.E.) New Mexico (P.E.) New York (P.E.)
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South Carolina (P.E.) South Dakota (P.E.) Tennessee (P.E.)
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Credit: 2 PDH

Length: 25 pages

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