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Although no two Sodium Hydroxide 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 Sodium Hydroxide? Sodium Hydroxide, also known as caustic soda or lye, and used to make a variety of everyday products such as paper, aluminum, commercial drain, and oven cleaners, and soaps and detergents.
In the United States, Sodium Hydroxide is a “tight-fill” (closed-loop) loading operation and is loaded or unloaded into rail cars via chemical hoses, 3” stainless steel or PTFE lined loading arms. Sodium hydroxide, 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.
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Our experts simplify the complexBulk Chemical Specialist
“As subject matter expert, I’ll leverage my years of experience as your personal consultant throughout the project to ensure you get a world-class solution.”Ray Evans-Bulk Chemical Market SpecialistContract# 47QSAWA19D0085View Full Text
Sodium Hydroxide is typically shipped in 10,000 gallon DOT-103 insulated or non-insulated rubber lined tank cars with safety valves. 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 Sodium Hydroxide 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.
Typically, as a starting point, we will need to know answers to these questions for your project
- The Railcar connection locations need flexibility – Do you know what the breadbasket connections look like?
- Are you using liquid and vapor arms/hose as two separate devices or a piggyback arm?
- Is the loading station indoors or outdoors?
- Is the loading area temperature controlled?
- How are you going to spot your railcars
Our highly trained technical sales team will undertake a detailed site survey prior to undertaking any work to check and clarify all dimensions, obstructions, access issues and other salient points. Our challenge is to provide the safest working environment – protecting operators and the equipment – while simultaneously enabling you to improve throughput and productivity.
Your Project Needs
Whether you are looking for a turn-key installation, on-site supervision or a maintenance program, SafeRack is positioned to assist you. We can do as little or as much as you need. Our project management and supervision team is the best in the business at supporting your company’s needs.
- Collaborative Design – Our loading platform specialists will work with you one on one, if you design to design the best loading solution for your specific needs
- Contract review – drawings and associated documents relating to the contract prior to site arrival
- Risk Assessment – Undertaking a site risk assessment
- Shipment Inspection – Detection of any shipping damage or abnormalities
- Material Receiving – Supervised off-loading and transport at site
- Installation Management – Supervised Installations and Coordination
- Start-up & Commissioning – On-site training for both users and maintenance personnel
Generally speaking, SafeRack recommends rigid pipe loading arms where possible for the following reasons:
- Balanced throughout their movement envelope
- Designed not to hit the ground – protecting the asset and the operator
- Ergonomic – one man operation
- Fitted with manual or actuated valves.
- Fitted with optional purge/vent facilities
- Can be moved into position with ease and left hanging in the air while the operator prepares the tanker connection
- Parked neatly
- Annual pressure test
- Are difficult to stow neatly when not in use
- Can be dropped
- Can be driven over
- Are very heavy to use if fitted with a valve at the tanker connection point
- Cannot be easily heated or have vent/purge valves fitted to it
- Prone to catastrophic failure
Typical Sodium Hydroxide 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.
Sodium Hydroxide Loading
Sodium hydroxide is typically loaded into railcars or tank trucks via boom supported stainless steel or PTFE lined loading arms with a flange connection. The arm 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 or PTFE lined arm with PTFE or Kalraz 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
Sodium Hydroxide 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.
Sodium Hydroxide 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.
Sodium Hydroxide Grounding
Sodium hydroxide when dissolved in water can release substantial amounts of heat, which could ignite combustible materials. Therefore, industry best practice includes the grounding of all vessels before starting the (un)loading process.
Sodium Hydroxide Safety Gates
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
Sodium Hydroxide 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 chlorine*; 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
We recommend that you also refer to the Chlorine Institute, found at chlorineinstitute.org. The Chlorine Institute (CI) was founded in 1924 and is a technical trade association of companies involved in the safe production, distribution, and use of chlorine, sodium and potassium hydroxides and sodium hypochlorite, the distribution and use of hydrogen chloride and the distribution of vinyl chloride monomer.
Customer Reviews5 5We are very pleased with our ErectaStep Platform System
Great communication, updates, and customer service.By Bob Cannon from Enterprise Products Partners on 3/16/205 5Safe working environment.
Three benefits of this product are that it is modular, the ease of installation and the safety it provides to our employees. Excellent!By Buddy Sallada from Brenntag NE on 3/31/195 5This is a great product that can be modified to solve many issues.
This is a great product that can be modified to solve many issues. I found that during the field measurement step, manway access has to be considered so supports or legs are not in the way. I appreciated the field support from Shane, who was very responsive, the pre-engineered design and the easy assembly.By Damon Lischke from Calumet Specialty Products on 8/8/165 5SafeRack is great to work with, we will be placing more orders with SafeRack.
SafeRack Sales and Customer Service has been extremely positive and was able to deliver each item we ordered very quickly. I found that, unlike some other product supply companies, SafeRack responded very quickly and efficiently. We are also working with the engineering group on a transloader. The engineering department has been extremely helpful and has been able to provide answers and solutions to all of our questions and concerns. I found that SafeRack is great to work with and we will be placing more orders with SafeRack.By Brian Hess from Associated Energy Services on 8/6/124 5They have proven to be well made and hold up well.
We have several of these in use at our plant and they have proven to be well made and hold up well. The aluminum design has saved use cost due to drivers being able to raise them easier and not letting them get hung on the trucks.By Steve from CEMEX on 5/4/154 5We liked that the product was adjustable.
We liked that the product was adjustable and this is what the customer wanted.By Tony Rodriguez from Industrial Conveyor Belt Systems on 7/6/15
Sodium Hydroxide 101
Things to know about Sodium Hydroxide
Sodium Hydroxide is regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and is classified as a corrosive material with the DOT identification number 1824.
Sodium hydroxide is a synthetically manufactured substance. At room temperature, it’s a white crystalline, odorless solid that absorbs moisture from the air. It is generally used as a solid or a 50% aqueous solution. Other common names include caustic soda, and lye. Sodium hydroxide is used to make soap, paper, explosives, and petroleum products. It is also used in bleaching, metal cleaning and processing and electroplating.
This material is a scheduled substance and must be stored, maintained, and used in accordance with proper guidelines and regulations. Incompatible materials include acids, organic materials, chlorinated solvents, aluminum, phosphorus, tin oxides, and Zinc.
Only properly trained and equipped personnel should be permitted to handle sodium hydroxide. Operators should wear approved PPE equipment including impervious clothing, footwear, gloves, goggles and a respirator.
Sodium hydroxide is corrosive to metals and human tissue. It causes severe skin burns and eye damage. Do not breathe dust, fumes, gas, mist, vapors or spray. Acute exposure may cause nausea, vomiting, headache, serious eye irritation or weakness or convulsions. Use only outdoors, or in a well ventilated area.
If exposed, seek professional medical attention immediately; rapid medical attention is paramount for successful treatment.
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, rinse mouth but do not induce vomiting, and 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.
Sodium hydroxide is corrosive with most metals including aluminum, brass, and carbon steel. Galvanized steel, which is carbon steel coated in zinc, offers corrosion resistance as well as stainless steel. Powder coating over galvanized steel offers even more protection to the long term effects of corrosion.
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
- Acetic Acid
- Acetic Anhydride
- Acrylic Acid
- Aluminum Chloride
- Aluminum Sulfate
- Ammonium Hydroxide
- Ammonium Nitrate
- Benzyl Chloride
- DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid)
- Diethylene Glycol
- Dodecylbenzene Sulfonic Acid
- Ethyl Chloride
- Ethylene Dichloride
- Ethylene Glycol
- Ethylene Oxide
- Ferric Chloride
- Ferrous Chloride
- Hydrochloric Acid
- Hydrofluoric Acid
- Hydrofluorosilicic Acid
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Hydrofluoric Acid
- Hypochlorous Acid
- Isopropyl Acetate
- Liquid Argon
- Liquid Nitrogen
- Maleic Anhydride
- Methyl Chloride
- Methyl Ethyl Ketone
- Methyl Methacrylate
- Molten Sulphur
- Nitric Acid
- Phosphoric Acid
- Phosphorus Trichloride
- Renewable Diesel
- Sodium Cyanide
- Sodium Hydroxide
- Sodium Hypochlorite
- Styrene Monomer
- Sulfuric Acid
- Sulfur Dioxide
- Titanium Tetrachloride
- UAN (Urea Ammonium Nitrate)
- Vinyl Acetate
- Vinyl Chloride
- Zinc Chloride
- Specialty Chemical
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