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View Diary: Facts about the Texas Explosion (57 comments)

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  •  Precisely. (1+ / 0-)
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    Oh Mary Oh

    Didn't think I'd have to spell it out in detail.  

    How do I know about anhydrous plants?  There was a huge anhydrous plant outside my home town.  I've seen the process.

    Everyone who worked at my home town's anhydrous plant, every kid who took chemistry in our high school, knew the potential for the place to become a giant bomb in the event of uncontrolled fire.  That's one reason why the plant was located five miles outside of town in the middle of corn fields. The other reason was the potential for catastrophic ammonia spills. (Bet the people in West, Texas wish their plant had been five miles outside of town.)  Safety at our town's plant was taken very seriously. While it, like the West plant, was built way back in the 1960's, it, unlike West, was built with a fire suppression system.

    BTW, my youngest brother co-oped at fertilizer plant (in the lab) while in school and sister, brother-in-law and nephew are all chemical engineers.

    "Some folks rob you with a six-gun, some rob you with a fountain pen." - Woody Guthrie

    by Involuntary Exile on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 08:31:26 PM PDT

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    •  I'm surprised (0+ / 0-)

      that given your expertise in anhydrous ammonia manufacturing that you don't know the difference between manufacturing and storing ammonia.

      "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

      by Old Left Good Left on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 09:22:00 PM PDT

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      •  Been Wating on Clarification... (1+ / 0-)
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        Involuntary Exile

        ...on just this issue. Was this a Haber-Bosch plant, where ammonia is manufactured? Or a downstream plant, where ammonia is processed into ammonium nitrate? Or a storage depot? Reports, so far, have been a bit ambiguous.

        Point of fact, most Haber-Bosch plants process ammonia into ammonium nitrate or nitric acid on site, as these chemicals are a bit easier (but not much safer!) to ship than ammonia is, and are also more generally useful and salable.

        "Cause 5 in every 4 just don't amount to nothin' more, so watch the rats go 'cross the floor, and make up songs ' bout bein' poor." F Zappa

        by GearRatio on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 05:22:30 AM PDT

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        •  Please (0+ / 0-)

          show me a reliable report that this was an ammonia manufacturing plant.

          "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

          by Old Left Good Left on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 06:19:59 AM PDT

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          •  Reliable Report? (1+ / 0-)
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            Involuntary Exile

            Eh! Stories like this one, don't consider ANY reports reliable for at least a few days after the event.

            So, do you have data that YOU consider reliable that this was a storage depot? Don't be shy...

            "Cause 5 in every 4 just don't amount to nothin' more, so watch the rats go 'cross the floor, and make up songs ' bout bein' poor." F Zappa

            by GearRatio on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 06:53:03 AM PDT

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            •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

              Pictures clearly indicate it was a warehouse, not an ammonia plant.

              And from the Dallas Morning News:

              The business stored anhydrous ammonia for sale to farmers. State and federal documents describe West Fertilizer as a seller, not a manufacturer.

              "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

              by Old Left Good Left on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 07:31:35 AM PDT

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              •  I agree, I once bought my AA and AN from a (0+ / 0-)

                place just like that in the Valley (for a citrus grove). It made me nervous just to be around the place, having a lot of (practical) explosives knowledge.

                "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans!!. . Willkommen im Vierten Reich! Sie haben keine Bedeutung mehr.

                by Bluefin on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 08:10:54 PM PDT

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            •  Go to Googlemap (0+ / 0-)

              and look at the satellite pics (the plant is northeast of the middle school, which is readily identfiable by the oval track).

              Definitely not an ammonia-manufacturing plant.

              "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

              by Old Left Good Left on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 09:08:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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