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Oil Storage Tank Level Indicator - Possible Static Buildup?Helpful Member! 

jderosier (Chemical) (OP)
15 Jun 10 14:52
Hello all,

A project I am working on is to upgrade an oil/water decanting storage tank. There is currently an older name-brand level indicator installed on the tank. I'm not sure of the model, but I was told it has a wire that acts as a spring and moves up or down with the liquid.

My supervisor told me that this type of level indicator has been known to generate static electricty as a possible source for explosion/fire. Does anyone know of any literature that supports this? I have been all over Google and this forum and can't seem to find anything.

Thanks for the help.

James DeRosier
Engineering Co-op
University of Michigan

StoneCold (Chemical)
15 Jun 10 16:04
I think he is referring to a CSB.gov investigation of Barton Chemicals July 17th 2007  Wichita Kansas
http://www.csb.gov/assets/document/CSB_Study_Barton_Final.pdf

Maybe this will help you.

Regards
StoneCold
Helpful Member!  MJCronin (Mechanical)
17 Jun 10 15:51
I think that this whole discussion should revolve around tank certification and re-use.

As we all know, corporations frequently re-use and reassign storage tank for a variety of petrochemical services. Of course, a tank that is perfectly acceptable for one liquid service may pose a very danger when used in another.

Supposedly, the acceptability of the method of storage is evaluated during the HAZOP evaluation that is required by law.

Anyone who has spent time on the Chemical Safety Board website knows that the process chemical industry does not update HAZOP studies and has a woeful record of fires and explosions because of this.

This screwed up federally mandated system of HAZOPs is better than nothing, but sometimes assumes everyone in the room is an expert on everything. Corporations love to fire anyone with more than five years of experience

A better method, IMHO, would be for the AIChE to get off thier dead asses and develop a new system of tankage design regulations for commonly stored chemicals. The new standards could group chemicals and require certain safe tank designs for that group. Safety, corrosion resistance and economy can be considered.

Will the industry do this....???

Can the indusrty make progress and actually develop clear and useful standards that everyone can benefit from ???

NNNNaaaaaaa.... !!!

We will just hire more MBAs and newbies.....

Rather than having the MBA assign the poor newbie to take design responsibilities that are beyond hs range of experience, a set of AIChE reference standards for tanks would go a long way toward progress and safety for all

   

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