Maleic Anhydride (C4H2O3) Handling Design, Loading, and Installation.

Although no two Maleic Anhydride 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. 

What is Maleic Anhydride? Maleic anhydride, also known as Furandione, is an organic compound. It is the acid anhydride of maleic acid. It is colorless to white solid with a pungent odor and usually transported in a molten state.  Maleic anhydride is used in the production of resins as well as in the manufacture of coatings, pharmaceuticals, agricultural products, surfactants, and as an additive in plastics. 

In the United States, maleic anhydride is a “tight-fill” (closed-loop) loading operation and is loaded into rail cars via 3” steam jacketed or heat traced stainless steel loading arms, or chemical hoses. Maleic anhydride, if not handled properly can cause serious injuries and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required. Additionally, because operators are on top of the vehicles during the loading process, robust, well-designed fall prevention is essential to ensure increased throughput, without compromising operator safety.

Maleic anhydride is typically shipped in 26,000 gallon DOT-111 insulated tank cars with safety valves.  The rails cars themselves are ~ 9′ outside diameter with an overall length of ~45’ to 55′, with a 6’ x 6’ center opening or off-set crash box openings. Prior to unloading, the contents of the railcar will need to be steam heated back to a molten or semi-molten state to be safely off-loaded.

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