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.


2017 Machine Superintendent's Seminar/Roundtable
RPTA will be hosting a machine superintendent's seminar/roundtable on winding and slitting on October 24-25, 2017 in Devens, MA
For more information on this event, please click here.

2017 RPTA Scholarship Recipients
Jonathan Fitch, Western Michigan University Chemical Engineering & Paper Engineering Science major, awarded 2017 RPTA scholarship.
Brad Kirby, Miami University of Ohio Chemical Engineering major, 2017 RPTA Scholarship recipient.
Abigail Cortright, Western University Paper Engineering major, 2017 RPTA Research Grant recipient.
For photo, click here.

2017 Industry Profile Study
Testing for the 2017 RPTA Industry Profile Study, the annual physical properties benchmarking study is underway. The annual report should be available to RPTA members in September 2017.

2017 Production-Technical Seminar
The 2017 RPTA Production Technical Seminar was co-located with TAPPI's PaperCon in 2017. The 2017 conference was held in Minneapolis, MN with the RPTA sessions taking place on April 24-25, 2017. More information on this event can be found here.

Plans are being made for the 2018 Production Technical Seminar, co-located with PaperCon for April 15-18 In Charlotte, North Carolina.

STAY TUNED FOR MORE INFORMATION