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Although no two Oleum 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.
Oleum is a widely used industrial chemical utilized as an intermediate to produce numerous organic and inorganic chemicals. It is used as a basic chemical for sulfonation processes (i.e. chemically adding sulfate to an aromatic hydrocarbon compound) and in the manufacturing of nylon, the production of dyes, and hydrofluoric acid (HF) production. Other names for Oleum include fuming sulfuric acid, Oleum sulfuric acid, and fuming Oleum iodisum.
Oleum is a cloudy, gray, fuming, corrosive liquid with a sharp, penetrating odor. When oleum comes into contact with air following a spill, it releases Sulfur Trioxide also referred to as “fuming Sulfuric Acid”View Full Text
In the United States, Oleum is a “tight-fill” (closed-loop) loading operation and is loaded into rail cars via chemical hoses or 3” stainless steel loading arms. Oleum, 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.
Oleum is typically shipped in 26,000 gallon DOT-111 insulated or non-insulated tank cars with safety valves that meet the DOT specification for the transportation of oleum and other like commodities. The rails cars themselves are ~ 9′ outside diameter with an overall length of ~45’ to 50′, with a 6’ x 6’ center opening or off-set crash box openings.
Tank truck (un)loading procedures are similar to railcar applications with the trailers meeting established DOT requirements for transporting Oleum or other like commodities. Approved DOT trailers include MC 307 or low pressure chemical ISO containers. Trailers and ISO’s are typically bottom unloaded. An extension pipe with two valves is flanged to the top of the trailer.
All trailers must be equipped with pressure relief valves; and trailers with bottom outlets must be equipped with remote controlled stop valves.
Typical Oleum 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.
Oleum Loading Arms
Oleum is typically loaded into railcars and road trailers via chemical hoses.
Oleum is typically loaded into railcars or tank trucks via boom supported stainless steel loading arms or chemical hoses with a flange connection. The arm or 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.
For unloading, typically you would use a rigid stainless steel self-draining loading arm with PTFE or Chemraz seals. Purge lines can be fitted to the arm, for nitrogen purging. Additional features such as parking latches with proximity sensors can be incorporated into the total system to ensure the arm is correctly stowed when not in use, before any rail movement can occur.
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’x6’ 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 FLAT RAMP ACCESS (FRT) GANGWAY
SafeRack’s NEW GX-FRT is a flat ramp model popular with railcars. It features a slip-resistant walk surface and, with the use of the telescoping extension, eliminates gaps on narrow railcars. Learn More
Oleum 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.
Oleum 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 oleum is not flammable, industry best practice includes the grounding of all vessels before 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
Oleum Safety Gates
Safety Gates will be installed at the top of the 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 to span openings between 16” and 36” and is field adjustable with nothing more than a wrench. Learn More
- 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 Oleum*; 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
Customer Reviews4 5Everything was good from start to finish.
This product’s quality is better than we had before. It was delivered on time, Mark Gardner worked with me along the way, everything was good from start to finish.By Jim Orlinski from Cargill Salt on 11/7/115 5We are really happy with the unit and ordered a second one.
So far, we are really happy with the unit and ordered a second one. The drivers feel confident when they are grounded. Dana Hamor was very responsive – even considering the time zone change.By Vern Bose from Mac & Mac Hydrodemolition Inc. on 1/30/125 5ErectaStep Metal Work Platform
SafeRack delivered exactly what I needed for my project and handled last minute changes very fast.By Lyle Kiser from Venable's Construction, Inc on 5/28/205 5Great customer service.
Good quality product, safe, easy to use, easy to maneuver, and great customer service.By Bobbette Outlaw from VSE Corporation on 6/8/125 5The product is easy to assemble, good quality and reconfigurable.
The response from SafeRack is prompt. I’ve dealt with both the SafeRack UK as well as US divisions and they are both very helpful and professional. Client is happy with the product and some resulted in repeated order. The product is easy to assemble, good quality and reconfigurable. Overall the client is happy with the quality of the product. Service and engineering support from SafeRack is good.By Collin Ng from Alltrust International PTE LTD on 9/13/165 5Very well designed and thought out.
The experience was all positive after a brief email I was sent a highly descriptive and a colored 3D layout of the item I was purchasing, this company is extremely professional and well organized, in the past trying to purchase something similar led to long drawn out procedures of special engineering and drawings which led us just to fabricate our own items taking needed workforce time away from other projects, also the sales coordinator Patrick Free is professional, quick and thorough with his quote and sale.By Shawn Quinlan from Dublin San Ramon Services District on 8/19/18
Things to know about Oleum
Oleum is formed by adding oxygen to sulfur dioxide in the presence of catalyst vanadium pentoxide which forms sulfur trioxide. The sulfur trioxide is then added to sulfuric acid which forms disulfuric acid or Oleum. The newly formed Oleum is then added to water to make a very concentrated sulfuric acid. The key difference between oleum and sulfuric acid is that the olem is sulfur trioxide in sulfuric acid, whereas sulfuric acid is an inorganic acid which is a syrupy liquid that is highly water soluble.
Only properly trained and equipped personnel should be permitted to (un)load oleum tank cars and tank trucks. Operators should wear approved PPE equipment including impervious clothing, footwear, gloves, and goggles.
Oleum is dangerous to human health, and as a corrosive chemical, acute exposure can cause severe skin burns and eye damage. Do not breathe dust/fumes/mist/vapors as they can be fatal if inhaled. Use only outdoors, or in a well ventilated area.
First aid measures for exposure include – removing operators from the source of exposure and into fresh air. Remove contaminated clothing immediately; wash skin thoroughly with soap and water; flush eyes with tepid water for 15 minutes. If ingested do not induce vomiting, but immediately call your local poison control center. Aspiration into the lungs can cause fatal chemical pneumonitis. If ingestion has occurred, assume there is a risk of aspiration into the lungs.
Oleum decomposes when heated and produces toxic and corrosive gases including sulfur oxides. It also reacts with combustible and organic materials which generate a fire and explosion hazard. Oleum reacts violently with water and moist air producing sulfuric acid.
Oleum is corrosive to most metals including bronze, brass, carbon and milled steel, so great care should be taken to avoid contact with these materials. However, aluminum and stainless steel have little to no effect when exposed to Oleum.
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