No one in the news has mentioned fracking chemicals but I can’t get the Magnablend catastrophe out of my mind so I’m going there.
Nexeo Solutions spokeswoman Christina Reynolds confirmed that methanol was one of the chemicals involved in the fire.
I don’t have a good internet connection right now but I’m betting if you look at the new fracking information on SkyTruth you will find methanol listed as a frequently used fracking chemical. IJS.
Chemical Facility on Fire in Garland
All employees escape industrial fire without injury
By Frank Heinz | Friday, Nov 16, 2012
Remember, industry wants to lower the bar so we don’t expect so much dang safety.
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William Huston says
“As a leading supplier of chemicals to the oil and gas markets, we offer a wide range of core commodity products and specialty products, as well as technical and analytical support, to the oilfield service, oilfield formulator, oil and natural gas, and refinery markets. From solvents, silicones, molecular sieves, glycol ethers, chelants, amines, glycols and various acids, you can count on our solid line of products from world-class suppliers, including Dow Corning, Dow, KOST USA, CECA, ME Global, Methanex, Lyondell, Eastman, Sasol, as well as various imported products to meet your needs.”
Robert Finne says
From August 2012
“Since private equity titan TPG Capital took over Texas-based Nexeo, the company has been the subject of safety complaints and has agreed to pay thousands of dollars to settle with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for mishandling hazardous chemicals”
And yes, they are listed as a supplier for hydraulic fracturing chemicals in this report from Fedonia Group.
I don’t have a good Internet connection so my research is hindered. Thanks.
kim Feil says
Near my hometown in Independence Louisiana, a chemicals plant is expanding in Amite called “Smittys” …..my town could not afford our fire department this year and so it has been taken over by the parish…I say that Smitty’s needs to pay a permit that is in line with what it would cost to go put out their chemical fires….they say in their product offering that theyw ill do “special blending”……they are fracking in the Tuskaloosa Marine Shale in that area…I bet the low natural gas prices encouraged this company to expand because that is the feedstock and makes it more profitable for them when costs are low.
Andy Mechling says
Sorry; but methanol doesn’t make smoke or flames like that when it burns. Water will extinguish a methanol fire.
Methanol is widely used in oil and gas pipelines, as an additive for removing residual water from pipelines and product streams.
Any moisture present in a pipeline presents a hazardous situation as the organo-sulfur compounds (COS, CS2) present in the product streams can react with H20 to form deadly H2S.
In freezing conditions, ice forming in a pipeline can cause catastrophic failures, especially during “pigging” operations. Methanol is used in large quantities in cold climate operations.
MORE METHANOL TRIVIA
Methanol is used a motor fuel. It has been substituted for, and blended with gasoline, for decades in some applications. The gasoline additive MTBE, which is now banned in the U.S., is derived from methanol, and still widely used globally. Chinese gasoline is increasingly derived from, or blended with methanol.
When methanol burns, it produces no visible flame or smoke. Indy 500 cars switched from gasoline to pure methanol after a deadly crash involving a smoke-filled track in 1964. Indy switched from methanol to ethanol in 2007. Monster trucks, tractor pulls, funny cars: that’s all methanol.
Methanol is also referred to as “wood alcohol”.
In September 2012, at least 39 people died in the Czech republic and Poland as a result of ingesting liquor contaminated with methanol. Two people have been arrested in the case, and may face life in prison.
[…]Sorry; but methanol doesn’t make smoke or flames like that when it burns.[…]
But Toluenecertainly will (make flames).
Andy Mechling says
At least at Magnablend, the plant manager was honest enough to say that all the smoke was indicative of sulfur compounds burning. That’s what I was trying to get at.
Some of the images make it look like it was a big open blending tank that caught fire in Garland.
The scary part of all of this – to me – is that, depending on what’s in those containers, downwind emissions originating from that tank may have actually been worse before the fire than during the fire – and are almost certainly worse now – than during the fire.
Of course, in a big chemical fire like this, there is typically significant damage to other units and tankage, and now that the fire is put out, there will be leaks and venting of all kinds, many of these will be difficult or impossible to fix, and concentration of ground -level pollutants downwind figure to be higher than ever.
Do you guys still have that FLIR camera?
During the first gulf war, when retreating Iraqi troops sabotaged the oil fields in Kuwait, some of those oil fires nearest Kuwait city were intentionally set by US forces – specifically because of concerns over the encroaching toxic emissions from the damaged wells nearby which were NOT burning.
This occurred early in the war, and was covered by several newspapers at the time, all quoting Kuwaiti government sources by name. This all seems to get contradicted and/or glossed-over in official accounts of that war.
The time for monitoring downwind of the plant in Garland is NOW, in my opinion, as opposed to during the fire, when those chemicals were still being allowed to combust.
I am glad nobody was injured or killed. I wonder if there are any residential neighborhoods nearby. My thoughts are with these people.
All of the above represents my opinion only. Thank you.
Texas plant fire caused by methanol explosion