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  Edible Oil Manufacturing

The vegetable oil processing industry involves the extraction and processing of oils and fats from vegetable sources. Vegetable oils and fats are principally used for human consumption but are also used in animal feed, for medicinal purposes, and for certain technical applications. The oils and fats are extracted from a variety of fruits, seeds, and nuts. The preparation of raw materials includes husking, cleaning, crushing, and conditioning. The extraction processes are generally mechanical (boiling for fruits, pressing for seeds and nuts) or involve the use of solvent such as hexane. After boiling, the liquid oil is skimmed; after pressing, the oil is filtered; and after solvent extraction, the crude oil is separated and the solvent is evaporated and recovered. Residues are conditioned (for example, dried) and are reprocessed to yield by-products such as animal feed. Crude oil refining includes degumming, neutralization, bleaching, deodorization, and further refining.

Risk Management

Since there is considerable fire load in respect of oil mills utmost care should be taken to eliminate sources of ignition such as sparks from electrical equipment, static electricity sparks, open flames, or any extremely hot objects.Spillage control can be achieved by efficient house keeping . The piping and dispensing systems in dispatch area require special attention. Leakage of oil from flanges should be controlled or eliminated.

Hydrogen Safety in Oil Mills

Gaseous hydrogen systems must be purged of air, oxygen, or other oxidizers prior to admitting hydrogen to the systems, and purged of hydrogen before opening the system to the atmosphere. Purging should be done to prevent the formation of flammable mixtures and can be accomplished in several ways. Piping systems and vessels intended for gaseous hydrogen service should be inerted by suitable purging or evacuation procedures. If the piping systems are extensive or complicated, successive evacuations broken first by an inert gas and finally with hydrogen are most reliable.

Fire Fighting

Hydrogen is easily ignited by heat, open flames, electrical sparks, and static electricity. It will burn with a pale blue, almost invisible flame. Most hydrogen fires will have the flame characteristic of a torch or jet and will originate at the point where the hydrogen is discharging. If a leak is suspected in any part of a system, a hydrogen flame can be detected by cautiously approaching with an out-stretched broom, lifting it up and down.

The most effective way to fight a hydrogen fire is to shut off the flow of gas. If it is necessary to extinguish the flame in order to get to a place where the flow of hydrogen can be shut off, a dry powder extinguisher is recommended. However, if the fire is extinguished without stopping the flow of gas, an explosive mixture may form, creating a more serious hazard than the fire itself, should re-ignition occur from the hot surfaces or other sources.

The usual fire fighting practice is to prevent the fire from spreading and let it burn until the hydrogen is consumed. Dry powder fire extinguishers should be available in the area. A fire blanket should be conveniently located. An adequate water supply should be available to keep surrounding equipment cool in the event of a hydrogen fire. The local fire department should be advised of the nature of the products handled and made aware of the best known methods for combating hydrogen fires.

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