Lab Safety: Pumping Flammable Liquids

Explosion-Proof Electric Motor for pumping flammable liquids.

Explosion-Proof Electric Motor for pumping flammable liquids.

In terms of lab safety, pumping flammable liquids can create hazardous conditions. Both fire and explosions can result if safe handling of materials is not adhered to by lab workers, students, and researchers. Examples of liquids that are flammable include ethyl ether, acetone, and benzene. Combustible liquids include acetic acid, formic acid, and formalin.

When flammable and combustible liquids flow, they may create a buildup of static electricity. To reduce the hazard levels, follow these five general safety guidelines.

1) Always use a metallic pump with air-driven or explosion-proof (XPRF) motor.

2) Make sure all components are metal. Plastic can build up static charges and cannot be grounded.

3) Electrically ground the operator and all pump components including motor (even if air-driven), inlet and discharge piping, hose clamps, holding tank, and receiving tank.

4) Avoid splashing liquids—splashing generates static electricity that can result in ignition or explosion.

5) Avoid isolated conductors, such as a metal nozzle at the end of plastic discharge tubing.

Some explosion-proof electric motors have a manual overload reset feature which eliminates the danger of automatic restarting.

Using Personal Protective Equipment

When handling flammable liquids, make sure to use the necessary personal protective equipment, including eye protection, hand protection, body protection, and lung or respiratory protection. Typically, this means goggles, chemical-resistant gloves, coveralls, and perhaps a respirator. OSHA recommends both “eye and face protection when exposed to liquid chemicals, acids, or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors.” Also, those “whose work involves exposure to hot substances or corrosive or poisonous materials must have protective gear to cover exposed body parts, including legs and feet.”

2 Comments on "Lab Safety: Pumping Flammable Liquids"

  1. Basically to follow up on the up-date of this matter on your web-site and wish to let you know just
    how much I prized the time you took to generate this beneficial post.
    Inside the post, you really spoke on how to actually handle
    this thing with all ease. It would be my own pleasure
    to collect some more concepts from your web site and come up
    to offer other people what I learned from you. I appreciate your
    usual excellent effort.

    • Thank you. We appreciate your comments. Feel free to share our information with others. You can also get useful technical information at ColeParmer.com

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.