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A dust explosion in a Belgian sugar refinery is described. Using the factory characteristics and the sugar dust parameters as encountered in this plant, and taking into account the results of the accident investigation carried out by the authors, preventive and protective measures are worked out. Adaptions of the installation are proposed and explosion vents in silos, bucket elevators, and dust collectors are introduced. Furthermore, attention was paid to electrical grounding, dustproof electrical equipment, isolation of the equipment with rotary valves, indirect input, and compartmentalization of different production lines. The preventive equipment maintenance program was adapted to minimize spark generation hazards. New regulations were introduced, among others a general no-smoking rule and a general open flame and hot work permit.
sugar dust explosion, dust explosion, preventive measures
Chairman, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven-Heverlee,
Research fellow, Laboratory for Electrical Machines and Drives, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven-Heverlee,
Safety engineer, Suikerraffinaderij Tienen, Tienen,