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Examples of fire and explosion accidents caused by static electricity
January 1972, a 10 000 m3 benzene storage tank at a petroleum refinery in
Yokohama, Japan exploded during sampling and caused a fire. The accident was
caused by the benzene friction generated static electricity when the sampling
tank was quickly lifted, and sparks were generated when it came into contact
with the detection hole, causing an accident.
In August 1975, the anti-aging agent powder in the styrene-butadiene rubber processing section of a factory rubbed in the bag filter to generate static electricity, which caused a fire.
In December 1977, a No. 247 oil tank exploded and caught fire. The top cover, including a 7-meter-long steel column, was thrown into the sky. After analysis, three metal floats were floating on the oil surface of the tank. The floats were charged and discharged and caused an explosion.
In July 1980, a worker in a pharmaceutical factory suddenly exploded while pumping xylene from a xylene barrel with a plastic pipe head. A worker who was operating was killed on the spot. According to analysis, electrostatic sparks are generated when the tube head separates from the liquid surface, which ignites the xylene vapor mixture in the barrel that has reached the explosive limit.
In November 1983, a certain liquefied gas station exploded, the entire installation was destroyed, and more than 20 gas cylinders were blown up. According to investigations, the movable liquid filling gun did not have a reliable grounding. When filling the liquefied gas, a large amount of static electricity was not discharged in time and caused an accident.
In July 2002, during the shutdown of a certain aniline plant, compressed air was used to add catalyst to the fluidized bed. The electrostatic spark detonated the hydrogen released by the residual unregenerated catalyst in the system, causing the explosion-proof membrane to rupture.
On December 26, 2002, a petrochemical company's tank truck recovered dirty oil. The tank truck's electrostatic grounding facilities were incomplete, and the pump outlet used a fire hose with poor conductivity, causing static electricity to accumulate and causing the tank truck to explode.