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An Introduction to Dust Explosions


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Reading this book - short, accessible, direct - will help to protect lives and plant infrastructure from dust explosions.

Table of Contents

1. INTRODUCTION: Dust Explosions - Myth or Reality? 2. MYTH NO. 1 (FUEL): Dust does not explode. 3. MYTH NO. 2 (FUEL): Dust explosions only happen in coal mines and grain elevators. 4. MYTH NO. 3 (FUEL): A lot of dust is needed to have an explosion. 5. MYTH NO. 4 (FUEL): Gas explosions are much worse than dust explosions. 6. MYTH NO. 5 (FUEL): It's up to the testing lab to specify which particle size to test. 7. MYTH NO. 6 (FUEL/IGNITION SOURCE): Any amount of suppressant is better than none. 8. MYTH NO. 7 (IGNITION SOURCE): Dusts only ignite with a high-energy ignition source. 9. MYTH NO. 8 (IGNITION SOURCE): Only dust clouds - not dust layers - will ignite. 10. MYTH NO. 9 (OXIDANT): Oxygen removal must be complete to be effective. 11. MYTH NO. 10 (OXIDANT): Taking away the oxygen makes things safe. 12. MYTH NO. 11 (MIXING): There's no problem if dust is not visible in the air. 13. MYTH NO. 12 (MIXING): Once airborne, a dust will quickly settle out of suspension. 14. MYTH NO. 13 (MIXING): Mixing is mixing; there are no degrees. 15. MYTH NO. 14 (CONFINEMENT): Venting is the only/best solution to the dust explosion problem. 16. MYTH NO. 15 (CONFINEMENT): Total confinement is required to have an explosion. 17. MYTH NO. 16 (CONFINEMENT): Confinement means four walls, a roof and a floor. 18. MYTH NO. 17 (PENTAGON): The vocabulary of dust explosions is difficult to understand 19. MYTH NO. 18 (PENTAGON): Dust explosion parameters are fundamental material properties. 20. MYTH NO. 19 (PENTAGON): It makes sense to combine explosion parameters in a single index. 21. MYTH NO. 20 (PENTAGON): It won't happen to me. 22. CONCLUSION: Dust Explosion Realities INDEX

About the Author

Since 2011 Dr. Paul Amyotte, P.Eng. has held the C.D. Howe Chair in Process Safety at Dalhousie University, where he is also a Professor of Chemical Engineering. Dr. Amyotte's research and practice interests are in industrial safety and loss management, particularly in the areas of process safety and inherently safer design (ISD). He is an expert in the prevention and mitigation of dust explosions. He has written a book with us entitled An Introduction to Dust Explosions, and wrote the second edition of Process Plants: A Handbook for Inherently Safer Design in conjunction with Trevor Kletz. He has published or presented approximately 300 research papers, and is the editor of the Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries. He is also a Past-President of the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering, Engineers Nova Scotia, and Engineers Canada. Dr. Amyotte leads a comprehensive research team of undergraduate and graduate students as well as postdoctoral fellows working to advance process safety practice worldwide.


"Amyotte arranges his treatment around 20 common myths about dust explosions, and the realities they hide, with a further organization by elements of the explosion pentagon: fuel, ignition source, oxidant, mixing, and confinement. Among the myths are dust explosions happen only in coal mines and grain elevators; dust ignites only with a high-energy ignition source; taking away the oxygen makes things safe; airborne dust will quickly settle out of suspension...", January 2014 "For those working with powders and dusts, then this small, unusual book makes entertaining and interesting reading...The book should be essential reading for all managers, engineers, and scientists working in the chemical and related industries (e.g., food, where dust explosions are, unfortunately, quite common), since all dust explosions are preventable if the correct equipment is installed, the correct procedures are followed, and staff are properly trained."--Organic Process Research & Development online, December 24, 2013

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