Requirements and challenges
Verdo carry out a range of wood chipping treatments in order to produce briquettes and pellets for wood burning biofuel industries.
A large amount of wood dust is produced from these processes and there are many fire and explosion risks within the facility which required detailed scrutiny and consideration with regards to control and mitigation methods.
Following a visit from a (HSE) process safety expert our reports were reviewed/ overviewed; it was found that there were no further recommendations/ actions required by the DSEAR expert.
A DSEAR Pre-assessment and detailed site survey were carried out. The main risks from a DSEAR and fire safety considerations were:
- Wood chippers, hydraulics presses/ oils etc.
- Wood Grinders
- Wood chipping conveyors
- Bucket elevators
- Storage of chippings, needles, pellets
- Wood pelleters
- Wood dust extractors
- Wood needle dryers
- Explosion relief
- Various wood cutting/ sawing activities
Part of the basis of safety and risk reduction measures in a plant of this nature include automatic spark detection and deluge systems, greatly reducing the risk of both fire and explosions. The measures employed by Verdo in this respect were generally very effective and thorough, with some relatively minor modifications being recommended.
Following issue of the DSEAR report R&B Industrial quoted for providing various control and process safety solutions this included:
Design, sizing and modelling of explosion venting/ relief systems together with modification to dust extraction and corresponding installation of explosion relief systems.
Wood needle/ pellet dryer main gas supply pipework/ valves and corresponding zoning encompassed a number of non-ATEX electrical panels and control gear. This would have been very costly to move. A partial enclosure around pipework and valve with methane VOC monitoring and gas supply auto- shut off enabled the existing non-ATEX electrical equipment to remain and reduce zoning accordingly. This enabled significant cost savings.
Verdo have implemented all of the high priority recommendations, and have been very happy with the high quality of DSEAR reports produced. Gordon Hambleton H&S Manager.