Acrylonitrile Process Tank Collapses Near Lima Refinery in Ohio

by Duane Nichols on October 27, 2020

C3H3N is toxic acrylonitrile

INEOS chemical process tank collapse rattles region near refinery

From Staff Reports, The Lima News, Lima, OH, October 26, 2020

SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — A tank collapse at Lima’s INEOS plant shook parts of the region Sunday night, but authorities assured residents there was no threat to the community.

The Shawnee Township Fire Department responded to INEOS at 1900 Fort Amanda Road, Lima, at 7:59 p.m. Sunday, according to John Norris, platoon chief and public information officer for the Shawnee Township Fire Department. They found a tank had collapsed. There were no injuries, and crews remained on scene for several hours.

Both Shawnee Township Police Department and Allen County Emergency Management Agency noted there was no danger to the community from the incident, nor was there ever any threat from it. “We are aware of a reported explosion at the refinery complex,” according to the EMA’s Facebook page. “We have spoken to Shawnee FD and complex officials, and there is no threat to the public.”

Shawnee Fire Department Platoon Chief Mike Hasenstaub said the case was still under investigation Monday morning. He said the collapsed tank was no longer in service at the time of the incident, but did not disclose what the tank was holding, calling the information “proprietary.”

The plant is part of a complex of industrial plants adjoining the Husky Lima Refinery. Other businesses there include Nutrien and Fort Amanda Specialties. INEOS is along the southern edge of the complex owned by a London-based company with 129 site locations around the world, including 37 in the United States.

INEOS’s Lima facility produces industrial chemical products. Its primary product, acrylonitrile, is created with the reaction of ammonia, propylene and air over a catalyst, in this case an amoxidation process, according to INEOS’s website. Acrylonitrile is a main ingredient in making acrylic fibers for clothing, carpets and blankets.

The plant also makes acetonitrile, a solvent used in the production of insulin and antibiotics and as a raw material in the production of natural pesticides. It employs 157 people, according to INEOS.

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U.S. Refining – Husky Energy Overview

Lima Refinery fire of 2015

U.S. Refining includes the refining of crude oil at the Lima Refinery, the BP-Husky Toledo Refinery and the Superior Refinery in the U.S. Midwest to produce diesel fuel, gasoline, jet fuel, asphalt and other products.

Husky markets its own and third-party volumes of refined petroleum products including gasoline and diesel fuel.

Lima Refinery — The Husky Lima Refinery, located in Lima, Ohio in the U.S Midwest, processes light crude oil. A crude oil flexibility project completed in 2019 has increased heavy oil processing capacity at the refinery to 40,000 bbls/day. (The Lima Refinery fire was in 2015.)

Superior Refinery — The Husky Superior Refinery, located in Superior, Wisconsin in the U.S. Midwest, processes light and heavy crude oil.

The refinery produces asphalt, gasoline, diesel and heavy fuel oils. Its associated logistics include two asphalt terminals and 3.6 million barrels of crude and product storage.

Following a fire in April 2018, operations remain suspended.


Canada’s Cenovus to buy Husky for $2.9 billion as pandemic drives oil mergers

Article from Ann Maria Shibu & Rod Nickel, Reuters News, October 25, 2020

(Reuters) – Cenovus Energy Inc has agreed to buy rival Husky Energy Inc in an all-stock deal valued at C$3.8 billion ($2.9 billion) to create Canada’s No. 3 oil and gas producer, as a pandemic-driven collapse in demand forces the industry to consolidate.

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Lee Burton October 27, 2020 at 5:08 am

Description from Wikipedia

Acrylonitrile is an organic compound with the formula CH₂CHCN. It is a colorless volatile liquid although commercial samples can be yellow due to impurities. It has a pungent odor of garlic or onions. In terms of its molecular structure, it consists of a vinyl group linked to a nitrile. Wikipedia

Molar mass: 53.06 g/mol
Formula: C3H3N
Boiling point: 170.6°F (77°C)
Density: 810 kg/m³
Melting point: -119.2°F (-84°C)
ChemSpider ID: 7567

What acrylonitrile does to the body?

* Exposure to Acrylonitrile can cause weakness, headache, dizziness, confusion, nausea, vomiting, and can lead to death. * Repeated exposure can irritate the nose causing discharge, nosebleeds, and sores inside the nose. * Acrylonitrile may affect the liver.


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