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Witnesses say idling diesel truck may have sparked Texas refinery explosion

 
Anonymous Coward
04/01/2005 12:29 AM
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Witnesses say idling diesel truck may have sparked Texas refinery explosion
Witnesses say idling diesel truck may have sparked Texas refinery explosion

HOUSTON Investigators say a contractor´s idling diesel truck may have caused last week´s refinery explosion in Texas that killed 15 people and injured more than 100.

They say the truck´s engine may have sucked in a hydrocarbon liquid and vapor cloud.

An official with the U-S Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board says witnesses saw a vapor in the area of the truck and that it´s engine started to rev up.

Investigators haven´t ruled out other sources to the blast at a B-P refinery in Texas City.
Secora
12/08/2005 10:06 AM
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Re: Witnesses say idling diesel truck may have sparked Texas refinery explosion
i thought diesel didn´t burn or explode like gasoline? dont laugh at me im a girl and my b/f drives trucks and told me that, he could be lying? is this true?
Lester
12/08/2005 10:06 AM
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Re: Witnesses say idling diesel truck may have sparked Texas refinery explosion
There is no way that a diesel motor used in any truck or vehicle could ingest a cloud of distillate, explosive gas or any other material through its breather aparatus and serve to trigger an explosion.

Gaseous materials will not reach equilibrium in an open environment. If a diesel was having a fuel enriched air supply pumped into its breather aparatus it could cause the cylinders to "fire", yet this would require a super concentrated fuel vapor. Like spraying a volume of WD-40 through a sprayer into the intake manifold. This would cause the motor to cycle or fire. Yet, there is no way for even such an occurence, if it could occur in an open air environment, to cause a "spark" external to the motor which would trigger the explosion.
Grendelmort
12/08/2005 10:06 AM
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Re: Witnesses say idling diesel truck may have sparked Texas refinery explosion
I agree with Lester,
There is no way a diesel engine could ignite a
gas rich enviorment. As a heavy equipment mechanic I work on this stuff every day. Because
of the higher compression ratio´s required to ignite diesel fuel - it burns at a much lower
temp than gasoline.
Diesels also do not backfire like gas engines,
why? Because if the fuel/air ratio is too rich or too lean - the engine will quit running.
Even if the engine sucked in some "exotic" gas
(like ether which is highly explosive) the engine would self destruct (ie blow holes in
pistons or bend rods).
As a test, put your hand on a muffler of a diesel that has been running for a while - it´s
warm or maybe slightly hot.
But dont try that with a gasoline engine - you´ll be making a trip to the emergency room.

Now maybe this could have happend with a Gas engine!
Wul
12/08/2005 10:06 AM
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Re: Witnesses say idling diesel truck may have sparked Texas refinery explosion
Sorry but i think you are wrong, if a very hydrocarbon rich atmosphere was being drawn into the engine due to the nature of a diesel engine the mix would become volatile and start to burn before the intake valve closed and release sparks from the exhaust system. This may have been enough to trigger such an explosion.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:06 AM
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Re: Witnesses say idling diesel truck may have sparked Texas refinery explosion
I agree diesel engines are not likely to spark an explosion, but engines aside, there is a lot of other electrical equipment on typical vehicles that might.

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