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|State Police #||13-03968|
|Pollutant||Duration||Point Source||Greenhouse Gas||Criteria Pollutant||Ozone forming chemical||Amount of Release|
|Carbon Monoxide||18h 42m||OL5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84) and Ground Flare (EPN 7-84)||NO||YES||NO||8,094.0 pounds|
|NOx||19h 21m||OL5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84) and Ground Flare (EPN 7-84)||NO||NO||YES||1,487.6 pounds|
|Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)||18h 42m||OL5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84) and Ground Flare (EPN 7-84)||NO||NO||YES||3,775.1 pounds|
|Particulate Matter||18h 42m||OL5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84) and Ground Flare (EPN 7-84)||NO||YES||NO||590.7 pounds|
|Highly Reactive Volatile Organic Compounds (HRVOCs)||18h 42m||OL5 Elevated Flare (EPN 6-84) and Ground Flare (EPN 7-84)||NO||NO||NO||664.0 pounds|
Accident Classified As: Reportable Quantity
On the night of September 8, 2013, Shell Chemical's OL-5 Unit experienced plugging of their online recycle filter located on the bottom of the pyrolysis fractionator (pyrofrac). Once plugged, the level at the bottom of the pyrofrac increased resulting in the level of the quench drum to decrease. This resulted in diversion of feed from several furnaces at OL-5. While stabilizing the OL-5 process unit, operations personnel experienced an upset in the process streams that resulted in flaring at the OL-5 Elevated Flare and OL-5 ground flare.
Double filter plugging was unexpected.
To minimize impacts, OL-5 operations made various process adjustments, while taking the furnaces off line. These adjustments stabilized the unit and reduced, eventually eliminating, the flaring. These adjustments also prevented the unit from shutting down. To prevent future occurrences, additional filters will be installed to create a robust filtering system. Report states that all released materials were dispersed naturally in the atmosphere from the OL5 Ground and OL5 Elevated flare stacks. Initial report stated that no reportable quantities were exceeded. Following the investigation and calculations, Shell Chemical confirmed they exceeded the reportable quantity for highly reactive volatile organic compounds.