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Petroleum Oils & Lubricants

Lesson Objective
Give employees and management
an understanding of the criticality
of fuel hazards and safety

Primary Danger
The primary danger while handling
petroleum is the chance of fire or
explosion. The slides below describe
petroleum properties affecting flammable
and explosive characteristics. They also
discuss issues and techniques related to
reducing the chance of fire and explosion
when storing and handling petroleum
Important terms defined
A fuels flash point is the lowest temperature the fuels
vapor will catch fire momentarily (FLASH) when
exposed to a flame. The lower a fuels flash point, the
more dangerous it is. A sample flash points is Annulus at
57 Celsius (134.6 Fahrenheit). these flash point show
that fuels give of ignitable vapors fuels stores in tanks,
plastic or steel can reach very high temperatures quickly
with ambient temperatures in Thailand reaching over 30
c it is very important to maintain the highest safety
standards. Which can be difficult to determine with
blended fuels.
1. Petroleum vapor and air may form a range of
mixtures that are flammable, and possibly
explosive. This range is called the mixtures
flammability limit, explosive range or
explosive limit
2. A mixture in the explosive range ignites when it
contacts a spark
3. Mixtures above 8 percent by volume of fuel
vapor does not ignite because it is to rich. This
is known as the mixtures upper explosive limit
Explosive range continued
A mixture less than 1 percent by volume of fuel
vapor does not ignite because it is to lean. this
is known as the mixtures lower explosive limit. A
mixtures lower explosive limit is formed at about
the products flash point.
Explosive ranges vary among fuel types
The key point is an empty or nearly empty
petroleum tank or container is still very
dangerous due to remaining fuel vapors
Electrostatic Susceptibility
This is the relative degree a fuel will take
in or build up a static electrical charge.
This multiplies the danger of highly
volatile, flammable fuels.
Aviation fuels have relatively high electro
static susceptibilities
Auto-ignition temperatures
This is the lowest temperature a fuel itself
(as opposed to its vapor) will catch fire
Some sample auto ignition temperatures
are: JP-4, 470 f to 480 f; JP8, 440-475
Low auto ignition temperatures present a
particular hazard in aviation refueling
Fuel Fire & Explosion
Fire extinguishers
Place extinguishers and other fire
fighting equipment within easy reach
but where it will be safe from fire
Control spills with a proactive spill
prevention program. Immediately
clean up and report spills.
Place drainage tubs or containers
under hose connections, faucets, and
similar equipment. Repair leaks at
once. Replace defective hoses,
gaskets, and faucets
Petroleum Safety Measures
Protective clothing

Wear fuel-resistant or rubber gloves
and protective clothing to keep fuel off
the skin. Wear ear protection when
working around high noise areas

Keep work areas free of loose tools,
lumber, and other objects that may
cause accidents
Petroleum Safety Measures
Nylon Clothing

Never wear nylon clothing when
handling petroleum because high
electrostatic charges up in nylon
Heat of Combustion
One relative measure of fire intensity or
severity is the amount of heat produced as
fuel burns. All petroleum fires are intense.
They require prompt action to quench the
large amounts of heat they produce
Flame Spread Rate
Fuels containing gasoline and kerosene
mixtures have a flame spread rate of 700
to 800 feet per minute.
Kerosene based fuels have a flame
spread rate of 100 feet per minute.
Flames spread through a mist of ANY fuel
type in nearly instantaneous.
Specific Gravity
Specific gravity is a relative measure of liquid
Waters specific gravity is 1.0.
All Petroleum products have a specific gravity
less that 1.0.
will only cause it to spread as petroleum is
carried on the water stream flowing away form
the fire. For this reason USE only foams or dry
chemicals, if possible to put out petroleum fires
Static Electricity
Static electricity is an electrical charge built up in
a material by friction with another electrically
dissimilar material
The flow of petroleum through hoses and pumps
and into and out of metal tanks produce static
Vehicles moving along the roads produce static
electrical buildup on them
Static electricity discharge can be prevented by
two methods: Binding & Grounding
Bonding is connecting two electrically conductive
objects to equalize electrical potential. (Static
Charges) on them
Bonding does not dissipate static electricity
It equalizes the charge on the two objects to
stop the sparking in the presence of flammable
Bond all equipment being used in a petroleum
handling operatin
To ground equipment, you must provide a
conductive electrical path into the ground
This prevents a static charge from
collecting on the surfaces of equipment
where it could discharge a spark.
The connection to the equipment MUST
be to a clean unpainted non-oxidized
metal surface
Bonding & Grounding during fuel
Bonding is the only static electricity control
measure required during fuel transfers
The refueling system must be grounded
Grounding at a separate grounding point
and bonding are required for support
equipment (pumps) connected to receiving
tanks. And for any other operation
requiring electrical earthing.
Chemical Hazards - Oxidizers
Chlorates, perchlorates, and other strong oxidizers are potentially
incompatible with alcohols, halogenated hydrocarbons, other
reactive organic compounds and solvents, and other flammable and
combustible wastes.
Mixtures of any perchlorates with oxidizable substances are . .
.highly explosive and must be treated accordingly . . . avoid friction,
heating, sparks, or shock from any source, and provide suitable
isolation, barricades, and protective clothing for personnel.
Further, methyl, ethyl, benzyl, and propyl perchlorate are readily
formed by reaction of perchloric acid with the corresponding alcohol
Ethyl perchlorate formed from ethanol and perchloric acid is
reputedly the most explosive substance known. In addition, the
above alcohols can also react violently or explosively with