Friday, July 11, 2008

Expoquimia-Combustible Dust ATEX Seminars

Expoquimia, one of the largest Chemical Trade Fairs in the European Union will be held October 20-24 2008 in Barcelona, Spain. Professionals across a wide spectrum of the chemical industry will host technical seminars and lectures for attendees and participants.

Activities at Expoquimia include instrumental analysis, biomaterials, sensory chemistry, biotechnology, new solvents, purchase management, and combustible dust explosion protection/prevention educational tracks..

Stakeholders and professionals who are responsible for plant safety in regards to the hazards of combustible dust generated from combustible particulate solids will have an opportunity to attend the 4th International Industrial Safety Conference (Jornada de Seguridad Industrial Atex) part of the combustible dust educational track.

Xavier de Gea, Director of LPG Prevención y Protección de Explosiones and coordinator of the combustible dust track has organized two daily of sessions with the support of the European Safety Management Group. Utilization of coal for power generation is becoming an important and vital feedstock with the issue of tight oil supplies in the global market. Potential hazards of combustible dust coal explosions exist with the increase utilization of coal.

The first day of the 4th International Industrial Safety Conference will cover diverse topics that include engineering standards that are necessary while handling solid materials such as coal as outlined in the European Union ATEX directive. Area of interest will include:

  • Risk analysis of Solid combustible

  • Self combustion parameters on coal and biomass

  • Coal grinding in the light of the new ATEX directive

  • Explosion protection reclosing devices

  • CO2 / N2 inerting as Preventive Explosion Protection at coal grinding
ATEX, or ATmosphères EXplosibles, originates from ATEX 94/95 is the regulatory technical requirements in the European Union that require manufacturing facilities to have specific equipment and protective systems that are located in explosive atmospheres such as combustible dust, flammable vapors, gases, and liquids.

Another aspect of the regulatory framework concerning combustible dust in the European Union is ATEX 137, which protect workers from the hazards of potential combustible dust explosions and fires in explosive environments. This would be analogous to OSHA protective standards that are currently being debated in Congress following the Imperial Sugar Refinery explosion.

Policymakers, regulators, legislators, trade associations, and safety professionals in the United States can learn from the EU ATEX in a manner that would assist in developing a comprehensive combustible dust program throughout the nation in preventing and mitigating future combustible dust incidents plaguing the nation's manufacturing sector.

Attending the 4th International Industrial Safety Conference at the Barcelona Expoquimia would be an ideal opportunity for all stakeholders in gaining an understanding of the complex issue of combustible dust, which is a problem afflicting all of our global trading partners. Book your flight and listen to some solutions before the combustible dust monster arrives for Halloween.



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