Root causes of fires and explosions inside the ethanol plantsMETROPOLITAN has performed an analysis of more than 300 fire or explosion incidents that occurred between 2002 and November 2014 during the ethanol production and transportation life cycle.
- Failure of the grain or other material drying process; organic material built up in the duct work of the dryers are a very common source of fires or explosions.
- Quite a few fires have occurred during storage of hazardous materials, such as ethanol, acids, bases, etc. Ethanol or denatured ethanol storage tanks have caught fire. In addition, silos or stockyards containing the grains have also caught fire.
- The transportation risks of ethanol have been well established; it is a very flammable liquid that has caught fire or exploded several times during the last several years. These fires and explosions will only increase in number and frequency as the industry continues to grow.
- Many of the fires and/or explosions occurred during maintenance activities at the plant.