First Name
Andy
Last Name
Piatt
Severity
Incident
Was Hydrogen Released?
Yes
Was There Ignition?
Yes
Incident Date
Jan 01, 1900
Equipment
  • Process Equipment
  • Process Vessels
Damage and Injuries
Characteristics
When Incident Was Discovered
Lessons Learned

The presence of other flammable impurities (e.g., oil carryover from compressors, hydrocarbon contamination of the gas) is an additional hazard and should be eliminated before cryogenic purification.Potential sources of oxygen in the system include:Oxygen or air impurity entrainment in the main gas to be purified in conjunction with failure of the upstream processes to remove these impurities.Regeneration of previously desorbed oxygen in the activated carbon bed.Accidental ingress of oxygen or air in the upstream processes (e.g., during vacuum or low-pressure processes).Risk mitigation methods for processes involving cryogenic activated carbon adsorbers include:Identify and eliminate by design the following:Potential formation of liquid oxygen and its contact with the activated carbon bed. Sources of liquid oxygen could be air ingress or oxygen impurity being entrained in the main gas to be purified/liquefied.Potential ignition mechanisms/sources (e.g., electric heaters used for regeneration).Use of alternative/substitute adsorbent that is noncombustible with liquid oxygen (e.g., silica gel, molecular sieve).Add an oxygen trap (e.g., silica gel, liquid nitrogen trap/knockout pot system) upstream of the activated carbon adsorbent bed.Avoid having sudden flow or pressure changes through the activated carbon adsorber, since these would increase the likelihood of ignition.Use sensors to identify the presence of oxygen or air ingress upstream and actuate alarms or system emergency stop when concentrations exceed predetermined set points.Purge the adsorber bed with an inert gas to reduce the risk of ignition if high oxygen concentrations are present.Alternatively, pull a vacuum on the adsorber to remove any adsorbed oxygen before the adsorber is put back online.Look for alternatives to or add-on features for pressure-reducing devices.Years of satisfactory service without incident should not be taken as proof of safe operation of cryogenic activated carbon adsorbers.

Key:

  • = No Ignition
  • = Explosion
  • = Fire
Hydrogen Incident Summaries by Equipment and Primary Cause/Issue
Equipment / Cause Equipment Design or Selection Component Failure Operational Error Installation or Maintenance Inadequate Gas or Flame Detection Emergency Shutdown Response Other or Unknown
Hydrogen Gas Metal Cylinder or Regulator   3/31/2012
4/30/1995
2/6/2013
4/26/2010 12/31/1969     3/17/1999
11/1/2001
12/23/2003
Piping/Valves 4/4/2002
2/2/2008
5/11/1999
4/20/1987
11/4/1997
12/31/1969
8/19/1986
7/27/1991
12/19/2004
2/6/2008
10/3/2008
4/5/2006
5/1/2007
9/19/2007
10/31/1980
2/7/2009 1/24/1999
2/24/2006
6/8/1998
12/31/1969
2/7/2009

9/1/1992
10/31/1980

10/3/2008  
Tubing/Fittings/Hose   9/23/1999
8/2/2004
8/6/2008
9/19/2007
1/1/1982 9/30/2004
10/7/2005
  10/7/2005  
Compressor   10/5/2009
6/10/2007
8/21/2008
1/15/2019
    10/5/2009 8/21/2008  
Liquid Hydrogen Tank or Delivery Truck 4/27/1989 12/19/2004
1/19/2009
8/6/2004 12/31/1969   1/1/1974 12/17/2004
Pressure Relief Device 7/25/2013
5/4/2012
1/15/2002
1/08/2007
12/31/1969        
Instrument 1/15/2019 3/17/1999
12/31/1969
2/6/2013
    11/13/73    
Hydrogen Generation Equipment 7/27/1999     10/23/2001      
Vehicle or Lift Truck   7/21/2011         2/8/2011
12/9/2010
Fuel Dispenser   8/2/2004
5/1/2007
6/11/2007
9/19/2007
  2/24/2006
1/22/2009
     
Fuel Cell Stack            

5/3/2004
12/9/2010
2/8/2011

Hydrogen Cooled Generator       12/31/1969
2/7/2009
     
Other (floor drain, lab
anaerobic chamber,
heated glassware,
test chamber,
gaseous hydrogen
composite cylinder,
delivery truck)
  11/14/1994
7/21/2011
7/27/1999
6/28/2010
8/21/2008
12/31/1969
3/22/2018
    6/10/2019
  • = No Ignition
  • = Explosion
  • = Fire