Phosphorus Trichloride (PCl3) Handling Design, Loading, and Installation.

Although no two Phosphorus Trichloride 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 Phosphorus Trichloride? Phosphorus Trichloride also known as Trichlorophosphine is a colorless to slightly yellow fuming liquid with a pungent and irritating odor similar to hydrochloric acid. PCI3 reacts strongly with water to form hydrochloric acid and becomes an irritating and corrosive white fuming gas. It’s used in the making of pesticides, surfactants, gasoline additives, plasticizers and other chemicals. 

In the United States, Phosphorus trichloride is a “tight-fill” (closed-loop) loading operation and is loaded or unloaded into rail cars via chemical hoses or 316 stainless steel loading arms. Phosphorus trichloride, 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.

Phosphorus trichloride is typically shipped in 10,00 gallon DOT-103 insulated or non-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.


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