Sunday, March 15, 2009

Another day, another emissions event

We've always liked the vernaclar employed by the petrochemical industry to explain what goes on behind the fence line.

When there's a "plant upset," it conjures up the mental image of a case of mild indigestion. A few belches, a shot or two of Pepto and it will pass.

Maybe the nomenclature is apt, but, c'mon, there's a difference between the after effects of last night's pepperoni pizza and what went down beginning at 4 a.m. this morning at Dow Chemical in Freeport.

The three-hour plant "upset" is under investigation, and the flares are still burning like sumbitches last we heard.

A random sampling of the emissions:

-- 6,000 pounds of carbon monoxide
-- 1,600 pounds of ethylene (gaseous)
-- 400 pounds of toluene
-- 800 pounds of nitrogen oxides
-- 58 pounds of benzene

1 comment:

Steve said...

I'd much rather them flare it than them ignore the issue/alarm like one particular oil company *cough* BP *cough*

A flare is not that worst event that can happen at a plant and we try to prevent them when we can, in fact, most refineries have improved their efficiency and condition monitoring to keep flares from being necessary.

But, the necessity remains due to the need to keep catastrophic events from occurring and I believe that fact should be made known.