Explosions Due to Hydrogen and Hydrogen Sulfide Build-up

As paper mills have begun to close up their water systems and move toward zero effluent discharge, they are finding that closing a mill’s water system can lead to changes in a mill’s water chemistry. These can include a build-up of nutrients which can increase the amount of microbes in a mill’s system. In the absence of oxygen that might be found in tanks, chests, and pipes, anaerobic bacteria can thrive.

When certain types of anaerobic bacteria break down the organic material found in a mill, hydrogen sulfide and hydrogen gases can be formed and released. One group of anaerobic bacteria, sulfate-reducing bacteria or SRB, produce hydrogen sulfide gas as a byproduct of their metabolic process. Other anaerobic bacteria, including clostridia, produce hydrogen gas as a byproduct of their metabolic processes.

Both these gases, if present in sufficient amounts, can be a safety concern — particularly for explosions — in a paper mill. Monitoring for these gases can help detect harmful levels of the gases before incident occurs.

RPTA issued Technical Bulletin 16, Hydrogen and Hydrogen Sulfide Gases, which provides guidance on monitoring for these gases.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board issued a Bulletin that provides guidance on hot work in such areas.


LATEST NEWS

RPTA Announces Recipients of
2022 Scholarships

Click here for details.

Industry Profile Study
The 2022 Industry Profile Study is underway. This year samples of 21 different grades off 68 paper machines are included.
The target report date for the 2022 Study is September 1.
Members can access reports from prior years at this member-only page.

2022 P-T Seminar
RPTA’s annual Production-Technical Seminar was held May 2nd and 3rd at the Charlotte Convention Center, co-located with TAPPICon 2022

There were four very informative sessions covering Contaminant Removal, Refining, Paper Machine Drying and Threading Safety & Guarding. Copies of all presentations made are available at this member-only page.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Summer 2022 Webinar
On July 13th at 2:00 PM Eastern Time, the Operating Board will host a webinar moderated by Chuck Legatt, General Manager of Liberty Paper Inc. Kate McGlynn, of RPTA, will present
Making Product Suitable for Food Contact.

Learn about the unique challenges and requirements associated with making product destined for food-contact packaging, especially when making product with recovered fiber.

Use Use this link to register for this member only webinar.

2022 RPTA Fall Roundtable
The Operating Board has selected paper machine clothing as the 2022 RPTA Fall Roundtable topic. It will include a tour of a supplier’s manufacturing facilities. The dates, location and logistical details will be published as soon as arrangements are made.

2023 RPTA Production-Technical Seminar
The 2023 RPTA P-T Seminar will be held April 24th and 25th, 2023 at the Cobb Convention Center in Atlanta. The Operating Board will recruit speakers on wet end improvements; DAF and fiber recovery optimization; process data collection and use; and safety improvements from dryers through calendar stacks. Stay tuned.