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|Accident #||No LDEQ Number Available|
|tate Police #||N/A|
|Pollutant||Duration||Point Source||Greenhouse Gas||Criteria Pollutant||Ozone forming chemical||Amount of Release|
|Sulfur Dioxide||45h 32m||#1 Incinerator||NO||YES||NO||3,695.0 pounds|
Accident Classified As: Reportable Quantity
The Sulfur Plant was shut down during the turnaround to replace the catalyst, as it was no longer active. Residual sulfur must be removed from the reactor beds to prevent the beds from plugging or solidifying. If the reactor beds are not swept of the residual sulfur, it becomes more hazardous to remove the old catalyst. The refinery notes that, even if the catalyst was not being replaced, it is likely that the catalyst would have plugged if the sweeping procedure was not performed, and it would not be able to achieve proper flow through the Sulfur Plant during startup.
The root cause was not reasonably preventable through good engineering practice, as it is part of the refinery's SOP, which was adopted from the vendor's SOP for the Sulfur Recovery Unit. The event resulted from activities associated with the refinery's standard operating procedure for shutting down the Sulfur Plant for scheduled maintenance. LDEQ Office of Environmental Services had issued a variance for this scheduled shutdown.
The refinery will contact a Sulfur Plant specialist to explore any other possible shutdown techniques for sweeping the catalyst that do not cause a TG incident.