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Cargo compatibility and reactivity for ships carrying dangerous


chemicals in bulk

Transporting of dangerous and noxious liquid chemicals in bulk involved various risk
factors. Chemical cargoes can be very dangerous, most of them being flammable and/or
toxic, some of them extremely so. Between some chemicals violent reactions may occur if
the chemicals are mixed in certain proportions. The result may possibly be an eruption
and tank rupture. Such an occurrance must be prevented. Water may also have to be
considered in this respect.

Leakages through
bulkheads occur at
times in any tanker.
Normally, however, such
leakages are only minor
seep ages. They will not
cause any violent
reaction due to the
great disproportion in
mixture from dangerous
proportions. But
legislation as expressed
Fig: Chemical carrying at sea
in the IMO Chemicals
Bulk Code ref (25), and in the US Coast Guard Rules ref (18) and Appendix 3 expressly
prohibits the placement of inter-reactive cargoes on both sides of a bulkhead. There must
be an empty tank, a cofferdam or a tank with a cargo neutral to both products in between.
This requirement causes some headaches in cargo planning. "Diagonal contact'' between
tanks is normally considered as sufficient separation between reactive cargoes.

More important, however, is the complete separation of piping systems so that one
product cannot inadvertently be pumped into another. To this effect strategic pipe bends
may have to be removed and blind flanges fitted on each pipe end. Modern chemical
tankers will have blind flange valves fitted . Such a blind flange valve must have a double
separation between the products with a drain in the interspace. A single blind flange is not
acceptable. Remember also to separate drain lines or slop connections to avoid the
possibility of cargo mixing.

The cargo inter- reactions may be of type:

a) Chemical reaction: Strong ( inorganic) acid plus alikali (or water) causes heat, e g
sulphuric acid plus caustic soda or water. Therefore sulphuric acid may not be carried in
tanks bordering the side shell or filled ballast tanks. Similarly sulphuric acid may react
with a number of hydrocarbons except parraffines (petroleum oils). Amines ( aniline,
diethylamine) may react with esters ( butyl, acetate, ethyl acetate). Caustic soda will react
violently with acrolein, acrylonitrile and allyl alcohol.

b) Oxidation : An Oxygen-rich compound like propylene oxide may react with an amine (e
g diethylamine) or an aldehyde (e g acetaldehyde). An ether (e g ethyl ether) may react
with oxygen and from a peroxide which is an explosive hazard. The ether should be
inhibited and carried in an inerted (N 2 ) tank.

c) Auto- reaction : Certain hydrocarbons compounds have a tendency to polymerize with


time, accelerated by heat, light, sometimes air or other matter such as rust.
Polymerization means that several molecules of the same kind binding together to bigger
molecules. The compound tends to become more viscous or eventually solidify. Heat is
liberated , which accelerates further polymerization.

Chemically most cargoes are monomers, which means that they, before any
polymerization, consist of single molecules.
Toxic vs edible products

Toxic products must never get mixed into edible products for human or cattle feed! In this
case minor seepages between tanks might prove disastrous.

IMPORTANT: Edible products should never be loaded with bulkhead to bulkhead contact
with toxic cargoes! The piping systerns should be entirely segregated or provided with
double blind flanges.

Related Info:

Cargo compatibility chart for handling dangerous liquid chemicals in bulk

Cargo handling safe practice for chemical products

Risk with noxious liquid cargo contact

Poisoning and required first aid treatment onboard

Determining presence of contaminants in chemical cargo

How take a sample of noxious liquid cargo ?

Recommendations

Closed loading requirement of various grade liquid chemicals and related considerations

Handling various grade liquid chemicals during loading

How to prepare a cargo loading or discharge program ?

How to avoid solidification in cargo tanks ?

Cargo line clearance requirement for chemical tankers

Cargo segregation requirement for chemical tankers

How to arrange disposal of tank cleaning waste ?

Restrictions on discharge cargo residue into sea

Retention of slops on chemical tankers

Vapour emission control requirement for chemical tankers

Handling self reactive chemicals


Handling of toxic chemical cargoes

Cargo handling safe practice for chemical products

Ship & terminal pre-loading meeting prior loading /discharging

Cargo compatibility and reactivity of various chemical cargo

Poisoning and required first aid treatment onboard

Determining presence of contaminants in chemical cargo

Checklist for handling dangerous liquid chemicals in bulk

Loading / stress computer for chemical tankers

Requirements of various grade chemical cargo heating

Cargo handling safe practice for chemical products

Ship & terminal pre-loading meeting prior loading /discharging

Cargo compatibility and reactivity of various chemical cargo

Poisoning and required first aid treatment onboard

Determining presence of contaminants in chemical cargo

Checklist for handling dangerous liquid chemicals in bulk

Loading, discharging & care of Phenol - Safety guideline

Hazards of Phenol - safe handling of Phenol on chemical tankers.

Handling benzene & methanol safety precautions

Personal protective equipments for carcinogens & cyanide-like cargoes onboard chemical
tankers

Handling ACRYLONITRILE safety precautions

handling ISOCYANATES safety precautions

Loading, carrying & discharging of Sulphuric acid - regulatory requirements & special
handling methods

Product characteristics & special arrangements for carrying Phenol onboard

Reference publications:
API/ASTM-IP Petroleum Measurement Tables
Vols. I, II, VII, VIII & XI/XII
Ship’s Ullage and/or sounding tables.
Ship’s “Trim and Stability Data/Manual” (Approved by Class)

Related Info:

Recommended temperature monitoring equipments onboard

Signing a Bill of lading & related problems

Issuing notice of readiness and related guideline

Cargo claims and issuing letter of protest

Statement of facts

Avoiding cargo claims - Chemical tanker procedure

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