Ethylene (C2H4) Handling Design, Loading, and Installation.

What is Ethylene? As an Olefin in the Petrochemical family tree, Ethylene is a hydrocarbon chemical made from the processing of petroleum. It is a colorless flammable gas with a faint sweet odor. Ethylene is used in a wide range of industries and applications including food and beverage, specialty glass, the refrigerant in LNG plants, medical anesthetic, and rubber and plastics.

In the United States, Ethylene is a “tight-fill” (closed-loop) loading operation and is loaded into road tankers and rail cars via chemical hoses or  top loading arms with vapour recovery. Ethylene, if not handled properly can be fatal therefore 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.

Ethylene is typically transported via  DOT-105 pressurized general service tank cars with safety valves.

The rails cars themselves are 9′ outside diameter with an overall length of ~47′, with a 6’ x 6′ or 8’ x 8’ centered crash box.
Tank truck (un)loading procedures are similar to railcar applications with the trailers meeting established DOT requirements for hauling ethylene or similar commodities.  

Approved DOT trailers include MC 300 thru MC 312, MC 330 and MC 331. All trailers must be equipped with pressure relief valves; and trailers with bottom outlets must be equipped with remote-controlled stop valves.

Ethylene (C2H4) Transport

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Bulk Chemical Specialist

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