Goodyear Tyre

2802 WordsAug 17, 201112 Pages
CASE STUDY Heat exchanger rupture and ammonia release in Houston, Texas (One Killed, Six Injured) 2008-06-I-TX January 2011 This case study examines a heat exchanger rupture and ammonia release at The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company plant in Houston, Texas. The rupture and release injured six employees. Hours after plant responders declared the emergency over; the body of an employee was discovered in the debris next to the heat exchanger. Introduction The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company Houston, TX June 11, 2008 Key Issues: • • • Emergency Response and Accountability Maintenance Completion Pressure Vessel Over-pressure Protection INSIDE . . . Background Analysis Incident Description Lessons Learned Goodyear…show more content…
Goodyear uses three ammonia heat exchangers in its production process lines. The ammonia cooling system supplies the heat exchangers with pressurized liquid ammonia. As the ammonia absorbs heat from the process chemical flowing through tubes in the center of the heat exchanger, the ammonia boils in the heat exchanger shell (Figure 2). A pressure control valve in the vapor return line maintains ammonia pressure at 150 psig in the heat exchanger. Ammonia vapor returns to the ammonia cooling system where it is pressurized and cooled, liquefying the ammonia. Figure 2. Ammonia heat exchanger 3 Goodyear Houston Case Study January 2011 The process chemicals exiting the heat exchanger flow to the process reactors. Each heat exchanger is equipped with a rupture disk in series with a pressure relief valve (both set at 300 psig) to protect the heat exchanger from excessive pressure. The relief system vented ammonia vapor through the roof to the atmosphere. Liquefied ammonia causes frostbite on contact. One cubic foot of liquid ammonia produces 850 cubic feet of vapor. Since ammonia vapor is lighter than air, it tends to rise. The vapor can also remain close to the ground when it absorbs water vapor from air in high humidity conditions. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) limit worker exposure to ammonia to 25 and 50 parts per

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