Accidents with sulfuric acid
Rajković Miloš B.
- Publisher: Association of Chemical Engineers of Serbia
sulfuricic acid | accidents | incidents | Chemical technology | TP1-1185
Sulfuric acid is an important industrial and strategic raw material, the production of which is developing on all continents, in many factories in the world and with an annual production of over 160 million tons. On the other hand, the production, transport and usage are very dangerous and demand measures of precaution because the consequences could be catastrophic, and not only at the local level where the accident would happen. Accidents that have been publicly recorded during the last eighteen years (from 1988 till the beginning of 2006) are analyzed in this paper. It is very alarming data that, according to all the recorded accidents, over 1.6 million tons of sulfuric acid were exuded. Although water transport is the safest (only 16.38% of the total amount of accidents) in that way 98.88% of the total amount of sulfuric acid was exuded into the environment. Human factor was the common factor in all the accidents, whether there was enough control of the production process, of reservoirs or transportation tanks or the transport was done by inadequate (old) tanks, or the accidents arose from human factor (inadequate speed, lock of caution etc). The fact is that huge energy, sacrifice and courage were involved in the recovery from accidents where rescue teams and fire brigades showed great courage to prevent real environmental catastrophes and very often they lost their lives during the events. So, the phrase that sulfuric acid is a real "environmental bomb" has become clearer.