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Although no two Ammonia Loading solutions will be identical, the product itself determines much of the critical design criteria that will ensure that optimum safety and productivity can work together in harmony.
In the United States, ammonia is typically a “tight-fill” (closed-loop) loading operation and is loaded into trucks or rail cars via chemical hoses, by-pass arms or stainless steel arms. Ammonia, if not handled properly can be fatal and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required. Additionally, because operators are on top of the vehicles during the loading process, fall prevention is essential, not only for safety but increases throughput.
Ammonia is typically transported in 33,500-gallon non-insulated, thermally protected tank cars. The rails cars themselves are 9′ outside diameter with an overall length of ~65′, with a 6’ x 8′ centered crash box opening.View Full Text
Typical Ammonia Loading Platform
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Below are some of the loading and unloading solutions for illustrative purposes only. Our experts will work with you and your team for a custom solution to suit your needs.
Ammonia Loading Arms
Ammonia is typically loaded into railcars via chemical hoses, by-pass arms, or 3” stainless steel loading arms. The current best loading practice includes loading arm or chemical hose, with quick-acting coupling, often in the form of Hammer Unions with stabber pipe. The hose will have a top inlet with a control valve to ensure that it is self-draining after use and is supported along the length of a mechanical loading arm to improve handling; this is known as a by-pass arm. You can install one liquid and one vapor arm, or mount both the liquid and vapor hoses on one by-pass arm.
Depending on the (un)loading temperature and pressure, gaskets and seal material could be PTFE, EPDM or Low-Temp Viton.
Break-away couplings can be fitted near the inlet of the hose for additional safety in the event of a drive-off
Although some sites use PTFE lined loading arms, our experience has been that these can be cost-prohibitive to maintain and challenging to keep a leak-tight seal across each arm section.
Loading Gangways and Safety Cages
A wider access gangway (36″- 48″ is preferable) as it helps improve access and egress to and from the vessel. In addition, a wider gangway will reduce the risk of the operator’s PPE getting caught, torn or damaged, and will improve productivity and safety. Powered gangway solutions are also an option, with both hydraulic and pneumatic solutions being commonly used.
Each gangway will be fitted with a two-rail safety cage for the railcar crash box. This will be a centered 6’x8’ safety cage to sit directly over the cashbox. This will provide a safe, secure work environment for your operator when connected to their breathing apparatus
GX SELF-ADJUSTING STAIR (SAS) GANGWAY
SafeRack’s NEW GX SAS gangways uses Retractalok power-assist technology allowing operators to raise or lower effortlessly, light as a feather to lift, solid as a rock. Tested in the most critical applications, this revolutionary new gangway outperforms all others. Available in multiple lengths and widths. Learn More
Ammonia Eye Wash/Drench Showers
ANSI guidelines state that an Eye Wash/Drench Showers need to be located 10 seconds or 55’ (16.8m) from contaminants or hazardous materials.
Eyewash stations need to be on the same horizontal plane with no obstructions.
Therefore, we would propose the installation of a standard combination Drench Shower/Eyewash Unit, which will save limited space and fit easily into any work environment.
Ammonia Spill Containment
Spill containment pans will be provided at the point of loading operations and is an essential piece of equipment in overall site safety and environmental protection
While not highly flammable, high airborne concentrations can be ignited and pose a significant fire and explosion hazard, especially in confined spaces. Steel containers or vessels of ammonia may also explode when subject to excessive heat or high temperatures. Industry best practice includes the grounding of all vessels prior to starting the (un)loading process.
- Vehicle grounding and bonding — ensure true grounding before product flow is permitted
- Explosion-proof enclosures — meet or exceed UL, CSA and Ex requirements
Safety Gates Ammonia Loading Applications
Safety Gates will be installed at the top of stairs and any other openings to ensure operator safety at all times.
YellowGate Safety Gates
SafeRack’s line of industrial safety gates is the most flexible product on the market with the ability span openings between 16” and 36” and is field adjustable with nothing more than a wrench. Learn More
Ammonia Loading Platform Options
- Lighting – Lighting both over and under the platform will be provided. For overcast days or second shift, lighting is essential for improved safety and improved productivity.
- Platform & Canopies – Full platform canopies reduce exposure to the elements and improve the safe and productive loading operation from the operator’s perspective.
- Operator Shelter – Depending on your site requirements, consideration should be given to the requirement of an operator or guard building on the loading platform. This can be customized to meet specific site requirements
- Wheel Chocks – Railcar Wheel Chocks provide fast blocking of all types of railcars and meet OSHA regulations to safely prevent railroad cars from moving during loading or unloading operations. This is a requirement by the Department of Homeland Security
Personal Protective Equipment PPE Requirements
Eye/Face Protection: Wear chemical safety goggles. A face shield (with safety goggles) may also be necessary.
Skin Protection: Wear chemical protective clothing e.g. gloves, aprons, boots. Coveralls or long sleeve shirts and pants in some operations. Wear a chemical protective, full-body encapsulating suit, and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). Suitable materials include: butyl rubber, neoprene rubber, Viton®, Viton®/butyl rubber, Barrier® – PE/PA/PE, Silver Shield® – PE/EVAL/PE, Trellchem® HPS, Trellchem® VPS, Saranex®™, Tychem® BR/LV, Tychem® Responder® CSM, Tychem® TK. The following materials should NOT be used: natural rubber, polyvinyl chloride. Recommendations are NOT valid for very thin neoprene rubber gloves (0.3 mm or less).
Respiratory Protection: Up to 5 ppm:
(APF = 10) Any chemical cartridge respirator with cartridge(s) providing protection against ammonia*; or Any supplied-air respirator*.
*Reported to cause eye irritation or damage; may require eye protection.
APF = Assigned Protection Factor
Recommendations apply only to National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approved respirators. Refer to the NIOSH pocket guide to chemical hazards for more information.
Use a local exhaust ventilation and enclosure, if necessary, to control the amount in the air. Consider using a corrosion-resistant exhaust ventilation system separate from other ventilation systems. It may be necessary to use stringent control measures such as process enclosure to prevent product release into the workplace. Use backup controls (e.g. double mechanical pump seals) to prevent the release of this material due to equipment failure. * For illustrative purposes only. Our experts will work with you and your team for a custom solution to suit your needs
Major Ammonia Producers where we have successfully executed Ammonia Loading Projects
Things to know about Ammonia
Chemical formula: NH3
Appearance: Clear, colorless, gas. Clear, colorless liquid under pressure.
Physical State: Liquid
Ammonia is a clear colorless gas, or a clear colorless liquid under pressure. Ammonia refers to solutions that are 50% ammonia or greater. In a concentrated form (gas or liquid) ammonia is corrosive to human soft tissue upon contact, and exposure in sufficient quantities can be fatal.
Ammonia is used in the manufacture of plastics, explosives, textiles, pesticides and other chemicals. Other derivatives of ammonia include: ammonia nitrate, ammonium nitrate and chloride.
Anhydrous ammonia used to make fertilizers is a highly toxic, volatile chemical that can severely injure or kill an operator if safety precautions are not properly adhered to. Anhydrous ammonia does not play well with oxygen; therefore, tanks or vessels must be purged with nitrogen before transport or storage.
Aqua ammonia transfer methods vary by site. Depending on the type of transfer method loading arms could be either tight fill or splash fill. It’s extremely important to ask your customer questions regarding their loading/unloading process.
OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) @ .05 parts per million
Ammonia is both caustic and hazardous in its concentrated form, classified as extremely hazardous and is subject to strict reporting requirements by facilities that produce, store, or use it in significant quantities. Ammonia boils at −33.34 °C (−28.012 °F) at a pressure of one atmosphere, so the liquid must be stored under pressure or at low temperature.
When released to the open air, the vapors initially move close to the ground, causing greater risk for exposure.
Anhydrous ammonia (Anhydrous means without water) used to make fertilizers is a highly toxic, volatile chemical that can severely injure or cause death if safety precautions are not taken. Anhydrous ammonia does not play well with oxygen; therefore, tanks or vessels must be purged with nitrogen before transport or storage.
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Is your plant or facility compliant with ANSI, OSHA, and local safety codes? We can help!
EMERGENCY EYEWASHES / SHOWER EQUIPMENT AND THE ANSI/ISEA Z358.1 – 2014 STANDARD
Following eye contact, you must start washing with water immediately to prevent permanent damage. In the event of skin contact, you must start washing with water immediately to prevent slow-healing chemical burns.
Are you aware that ANSI guidelines state that Eye Wash/Drench Showers need to be located 10 seconds or 55′ from contaminates or hazardous materials and located on the same horizontal plane, with no obstructions? If bottom loading/unloading, an additional shower should be located at grade as well. SafeRack provides the above equipment plus much more needed to keep employees safe and expedite bulk chemical loading and unloading.
OSHA Regulation Experts – Does your existing chemical safety equipment or chemical loading systems meet OSHA’s latest requirements? SafeRack’s professional technical sales consultants are available to meet with your team to make recommendations to keep your facility in front of OSHA’s ever-changing country and region-specific standards and regulations, including lifeline and trolley beam fall arrest systems, metal stairs, and access platforms.
The SafeRack approach is a collaborative one. Let’s call it The SafeRack Way. We have, over many years amassed a great deal of experience and understanding of the safety aspects involved in loading road tankers and railcars, as well as the behavioral habits of the operators.
Experts In Chemical Loading
North America’s largest loading terminal
World-leading designer, manufacturer, and installer of truck and railcar loading platforms
As one of the primary railcar loading points, Hardisty is one of the major crude oil hubs in North America and a major origination point of pipelines that export to the United States. SCS was asked to supply and construct a SafeRack crude oil loadout terminal spanning nearly half a mile. The USD Hardisty terminal can load up to two 120-railcar unit trains per day and consists of a fixed loading rack with 62 railcar loading positions enclosed, separate control, operator and mechanical buildings, as well as a unit train staging area and loop tracks capable of holding multiple unit trains simultaneously. SCS also supplied and installed boom-supported loading arms with supply and vapor management systems.
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Located in South Carolina
Located in South Carolina
Located in South Carolina
Located in South Carolina
Located in South Carolina