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Four injured in hydrocarbon refrigerant plant explosion

Published: 20 March 2013 - 00:00
USA: FOUR people are reported to have been injured, three seriously, following an explosion at a hydrocarbon refrigerant bottling plant in Illinois.
A powerful blast reportedly tore through the brick walls and roof of the Enviro-Safe Refrigerants Pekin plant in Pekin yesterday (March 19).

The local pjstar.com website says the explosion is thought to have occurred near an assembly line and may have stemmed from a gas line malfunction.

The injured are said to have suffered burns.

Enviro-Safe has been producing and selling hydrocarbon refrigerants for around 16 years, much of it being sold in small cans to the auto trade for use as replacements for R134a in car air conditioning systems. Other hydrocarbon refrigerants include alternatives for R22 and R502 packaged in a range of sizes from 5oz cans to 50lb cylinders.



Published prior to March 2014
By Brent
I hope it is now clear that this Envirosafe factory was a "aerosol bottling/packaging facility", not a manufacturing plant. As reported at http://www.pekintimes.com/article/20130329/NEWS/130329535/0/SEARCH
"Price said the investigation showed a contractor opened up a gas line and the building filled up with gas.
"It was nothing with any of our equipment malfunctioning or any of our employees doing anything wrong," Price said."

Attempts to scare people away from using HCs in systems to which they are very well suited by hysterical arm waving about an unfortunate industrial accident are simply silly and misleading.

Accidents can happen with any refrigerant. The fact that not even a large explosion like this has killed anyone is an indication of how overblown some claims about alleged dangers of small charges really are.
Published prior to March 2014
By Neil
This is the factory's risk management plan from the US EPA's database

Published prior to March 2014
By George S
From the FAQs on the Enviro-Safe website:

What is Enviro-Safe Refrigerant?
Enviro-Safe Refrigerant is a proprietary blended ultra high efficient hydrocarbon refrigerant direct replacement for HFC-134a and R-12 Substitutes.
Published prior to March 2014
By Neil
That's very intriguing, Michael.

The guys selling Enviro-Safe refrigerants appear to think they are hydrocarbons:

The environmentalists seem to think they are hydrocarbons:

And even the manufacturer at least suggests that they are hydrocarbons:

So if they are not hydrocarbons what are they?
Published prior to March 2014
By Michael
This plant was not manufacturing HC refrigerants. You do a disservice to your readers with this inaccurate headline. This company makes R134a, R22 and R12 replacements (hot-shots) and is not currently making R290 or R600a. Please do the research.
Published prior to March 2014
By Graeme
Very lucky people to walk away from that!
It was only a matter of time. Unfortunately it won't stop some people demanding an increase in the use of HCs, even in multi split and VRF systems.
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