Strategies for safer powder drying
This article outlines an approach for designing a safer drying operation based on understanding the probability and magnitude of a fire or explosion so you can choose the right safeguards for your process.
Drying powders is an essential unit operation in the manufacture of many chemicals, foods, pharmaceuticals, agricultural products, explosives, and other products. Yet this operation can be hazardous. One study of major chemical manufacturers indicates that powder drying operations may have contributed to 37 percent of all plant accidents in a 16-year period. These accidents — including fires, explosions, or both — can be devastating, potentially resulting in worker injuries or even deaths. A dryer shutdown after such an event can cause serious production losses, as well.