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The valves’ safety system has to be overridden to do this. continued 26 SAFE FURNACE A N D BOILER FIRING rhere is a platform on top of the furnace (which is 25 metres high) to facilitate naintenance work and control activities. rhree workers were on the top of the furnace replacing the insulation after ninor maintenance when the start-up procedure was begun. lespite the procedure, the overridden safety system was not reactivated, eaving the valves open. When the gas supply was then opened, the nitrogen n the pipe was flushed out by natural gas, and gas flowed through the open nput valves into the furnace.

The explosion caused the radiant section enclosure of the fired heater to burst/breaking seam bolts, dislodging supports for the convection section overhead and knocking down a number of vertical tubes from their hangers. Fire erupted in the radiant section and continued to be fed with fuel from the ethylbenzenetower due to failed tubes. H continuea 46 SAFE FURNACE A N D BOILER FIRING More than 150 fire-fighters were involved in fighting the fire. Water cooling streams were strategically applied onto the support structure to guide the collapsing convection chamber, flue and stack into an open area on the plant site.

If the flame continues to burn in the mixing tube, the burner should be shut off and allowed to cool before relighting. Flashbacks cannot occur if (1) the gas-air mixture in the mixing tube is too rich to burn or (2) if the velocity of the mixture through the spider holes exceeds the velocity at which the flame will travel backwards in the mixture. Thus, 36 SAFE FURNACE AND BOILER FIRING flashbacks can be prevented by reducing primary air to produce a rich mixture in the mixing tube or by increasing the firing rate so that the velocity through the spider holes exceeds the backward velocity of the flame.

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