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Safe handling and storage of biomass in thermal power stations

As the use of biomass fuel for power generation grows, the scale of distribution and storage is increasing to fill demand. The hazards associated with transporting and storing biomass material in bulk are different and more severe compared to small-scale biomass operations. In light of this, this publication provides a good practice framework for safe handling of varying types of product, with implications for facility design, personnel training, process safety management and emergency services engagement.

The publication covers a number of practical, quality, health and safety aspects of product storage and handling, such as transportation from storage to milling, silo design, and emergency response. Key hazards addressed include:

  • Fire from self-heating and external ignition sources.  Specific risks for conveyors, silos and flat stores are discussed alongside the efficacy and risks of existing fire control systems.
  • Explosion from wood and organic dusts, and the build-up of combustible gases from the products of partial combustion in silos.  Explosion precautions, the classification of hazardous areas and risk management at all site areas are explored.
  • Health risks arising from:
    • the presence of wood dust;
    • the use of carbon dioxide or nitrogen gas for providing inert atmospheres, and the presence of confined spaces, where there is potentially a lack of oxygen, and
    • the danger from biologically produced carbon monoxide.

Based on international industry experience, this publication is primarily aimed at supporting safe on-site handling and storage of bulk biomass material in power stations.  However, much of the information will also be relevant to the transportation and off-site storage of material.

This publication will be of interest to design engineers, managers and safety professionals involved in the design and operation of biomass-based power generation, or in the bulk storage of biomass.

ISBN:978 0 85293 761 7                         1st edition                           Mar 2016

Member price:£105.00

Non-member price:£140.00

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