The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) reported on an accidental release of 84,000 pounds of sulfuric acid over two-and-a-half hours from an alkylation-unit settler tank at the Tesoro Refinery in Martinez, California, on February 12, 2014. The release was onto the refinery grounds and into a process sewer system. There was no vapor cloud or offsite consequences to the community. The spill burned two workers, who were transported to the nearest hospital burn unit by helicopter. They survived and returned to work after five months.
A Modified Hydrofluoric Acid (MHF) release of this magnitude would have had cataclysmic consequences not only for refinery workers, but also for the surrounding community. A ground-hugging toxic cloud would be lethal for more than eight miles downwind. (For comparison, there are 50,000 pounds of MHF in one Torrance refinery settler tank.) This full-scale incident is further dramatic evidence that sulfuric acid alkylation is vastly safer than MHF alkylation, contrary to the claims of Exxon-Mobil and the Torrance Refining Company.
The DuPont™ ConvEx℠ HF Alkylation Conversion to Safer Sulfuric Acid Alkylation Technology
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Two U.S. Refineries Currently Undergoing Conversion from HF to New Safer Alternatives
Two U.S. refineries are are in the process of conversion to other vastly safer alkylation technologies.
In Oil and Gas Engineering, see:
Ionic Liquid Alkylation Technology Receives Award
Chevron is converting its hydrofluoric acid (HF) alkylation unit at their Salt Lake City refinery to ISOALKY technology, which will be operational in 2020, when the refinery’s HF equipment and its inventory of hydrofluoric acid will be removed.
In Chemical Engineering see:
KBR to Provide Solid-Acid Alkylation Technology for Wynnewood Refinery in Oklahoma
KBR, Inc. has entered into a contract to convert the existing Hydrofluoric acid (HF) alkylation unit at the Wynnewood Refinery to its K-SAAT solid-acid alkylation technology.