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Safe explosive material handling from Pyroban

Pyroban : 28 September, 2007  (Application Story)
Chemical recovery and recycling company uses Pyroban equipment for explosion protection.
SRM is one of Europe’s largest companies recovering and recycling chemical waste. Fork truck supplier Birchwood, working with explosion protection safety specialists Pyroban, keeps its Lancashire operation in safe hands.

Due to the volume of flammable material being handled on a daily basis, SRMs facility in Morecambe, Lancashire has top tier COMAH status. The operation runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as some of the largest chemical and pharmaceutical companies process their waste at SRM. The majority of waste arrives in drums, IBCs or in bulk, containing a sludgy mix of any number of different solvents or chemicals.

On arrival at the Lancashire site, each delivery is sampled by SRM scientists and then batched into compatible types for processing. The recycling work then begins in a multi-award winning process whereby even the drum is recycled, which would previously have been buried in landfill sites. The output is then reprocessed and blended to a strict specification for use in the cement industry as a partial replacement of coal in its kilns reducing CO2 emissions. The site also takes in solvent and recovers it for resale as high quality recovered solvent.
Crucial to the operation at SRM is the fleet of Pyroban materials handling equipment supplied by Birchwood that feeds the process from delivery and storage through to the processing area.

Graham Burrell, Materials Manager at SRM explains “Top Tier COMAH status coupled with the strict health and safety legislation governing all our activities means that our materials handling supplier Birchwood has to support us with specialist services. Following risk assessments under DSEAR, areas are classified as Zone 2 requiring ATEX compliant equipment and suitable support. Our trucks can be used up to 24 hours a day and we need them all available 7 days a week to feed the process.”

Birchwood is one of the leading independent materials handling suppliers in the North West of England and the chosen supplier for the SRM operation in Lancashire. Pete Dennett, Sales Manager for Birchwood explains “SRM put us through our paces to make sure that we could provide the level of service they need. We even took them to another Birchwood customer’s site where we were able to demonstrate the attentive support we provide for the chemical industry.”
Curtain sided trailers are unloaded at SRM each containing drums (up to 80) or IBCs, most of which contain flammable materials. Two dedicated 2.5T fork lifts are used to unload the trailers and position the drums and IBCs in a Zone 2 storage area. A further fleet of 2.5T trucks then feeds the Zone 2 process areas in batches.

“From the outset, on any site like this, we always involve explosion protection specialist Pyroban to provide succinct and impartial advice.” continues Pete.
Pyroban converted a series of 2.5T diesel counterbalance trucks for safe operation within Zone 2 areas at SRM. The technically advanced Pyroban conversion known as System 5000D maintains the performance of the original vehicle but eliminates all sources of ignition so that if there is a flammable vapour in the atmosphere, the trucks cannot cause an explosion.

Rob Vesty, Customer Services Manager for Pyroban in the North of England explains “SRM were already familiar with System 5000D and liked the way it detects a flammable gas or vapour, alerting the driver and automatically shutting down the equipment if dangerous levels are reached. The drivers like it because an automatic system check on start up means that they have continued confidence in the safety of the equipment.”

Rob Vesty continues “Pyroban assesses every single element of the truck. We then apply a series of explosion protection solutions which includes reducing the surface temperature of the engine and the exhaust gas temperature. We prevent a flame reaching the atmosphere through the inlet system or overspeed if the engine were to ingest a vapour.”

SRM is realistic in its approach to the materials handling fleet. By working with Birchwood in a partnership the effects of breakdowns and servicing is minimized. Graham Burrell of SRM concludes “The trucks are only part of the solution. The way a supplier supports them is probably the most important element. Local Birchwood engineers look after the trucks with a maximum callout of 2 hours, there are planned maintenance schedules and engineers who are certified and experienced on the Pyroban system. This combination from Birchwood is very impressive for a very demanding fleet.”
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