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Chemistry of hazardous materials - Essay Example

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7, 1998 and claimed four workers’ lives while injuring six others. It consisted of two explosions where the first one occurred in a room for making boosters, or small explosive devices for…
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Chemistry of hazardous materials
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Download file to see previous pages High Explosives Accident, 2004).
The chemicals involved in this particular explosive accident include TNT or trinitrotoluene in the first room where the initial explosion took place and where the workers were dealing with boosters, which were in fact made up of TNT. The other chemical was PETN or pentaerythritol tetranitrate, which was present in the neighboring rooms and was actually the main chemical component of the drying explosives (Sierra Chemical Co. High Explosives Accident, 2004).
The interaction of chemicals involved mainly the solidification of the base material for boosters – namely TNT and other high explosives, and their ensuing explosion that caused the explosion of the PETN in the neighboring room.
Based on the reconstruction of evidence conducted by the U. S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, apparently one worker left in the booster room around 50 to 100 pounds of base material made up of TNT and other high explosives in a pot. As no other worker or operator utilized the base material, it solidified due to the extremely low temperature on the outside. The next day, while assuming that the base material in the pot had been used, he may have turned on the motor to the agitator blades right away without checking whether the pot was empty or not. This triggered the first explosion. The reason for this is that “the heavy mixer blade had probably become embedded in the hardened explosive” (Sierra Chemical Co. High Explosives Accident, 2004). The ensuing explosion must then have caused heavy debris to rain down on the PETN drying explosives which was 220 feet away from the building, thus causing the secondary explosion (Sierra Chemical Co. High Explosives Accident, 2004).
Before the incident, the U. S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA had required that certain safety systems for hazardous chemical operations should be ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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