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Design of a high-containment polymerization process.

Knox LC
Symposium proceedings: control technology in the plastics and resins industry. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 81-107, 1981 Jan; :207-224
Systems to reduce exposure of workers to polyvinyl-chloride (9002862) (PVC) and vinyl-acetate-vinyl-chloride copolymer (9003229) (VAVCC) were described for a facility producing suspension type PVC and VAVCC. Facility design was adapted from a classic batch polymerization process. Protective measures in the design were divided into three groups. Systems permanently installed to protect personnel from vinyl-chloride (75014) (VC) concentrations above standards included breathing air network, gas chromatograph monitors, and a lower explosion limit (LEL) detector and alarm system. Systems to contain or reduce emissions from mechanical devices or maintenance operations included gas holder in the recovery system, fugitive emissions capture system, reactor safing procedure and water displacement system, and double mechanical seals and reciprocating shaft seals. Systems dealing with irreducible process vents included steam stripping of slurry and water and incineration of cold condenser vent. The decision to use incineration for pollution control of VC was discussed with respect to regulatory criteria for VC. Incineration was chosen over activated carbon adsorption and recovery or solvent scrubbing of vent gas because it consistently met EPA emission criterion of 10 parts per million VC. Incineration was also capable of accepting gaseous and organic liquid wastes simultaneously or alternately. Other advantages of incineration were minimization of buildup of nonreactive VC contaminants such as methyl-chloride and energy conservation. Limitations of this control method included reliability and generation of byproducts which could not be directly discharged to the atmosphere (hydrogen-chloride, chlorine, particulates, and nitrogen oxides). Reliability was increased with a standby incinerator. Noxious emissions were reduced with scrubbing and discharge techniques. The author concludes that with these considerations, incineration is an effective and viable way to meet environmental regulations for VC emissions from PVC facilities.
Regulations; Safety-monitoring; Industrial-safety-programs; Occupational-exposure; Workplace-studies; Industrial-hazards; Chemical-processing; Environmental-contamination
9002-86-2; 9003-22-9; 75-01-4
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Symposium proceedings: control technology in the plastics and resins industry
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division