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Expert tackles fuel explosions, safety challenges with innovative protection system

By Adelowo Adebumiti
04 January 2020   |   3:58 am
To reduce fire incidents, eliminate losses and guard against downtime especially in the petrol chemical industry, an innovative protection system

To reduce fire incidents, eliminate losses and guard against downtime especially in the petrol chemical industry, an innovative protection system, ExploStop has been introduced to the country to reduce the risk of explosion when storing or transporting fuels.

Speaking with The Guardian on the innovation, Managing Director, Operation, Servo Inv NG, Edwin Brown Jnr. said the country is in dire need of solution to the incessant problem of tank explosions and fire incidents which has resulted in loss of lives and destruction of properties worth billions of naira.

Concerned by escalating fire incidents, he said his company reached out to partners around the world to arrive at a solution to address this issue.

He said: “This is what we do, we find solution to existing problems and that is how we came across this technology too. This is an innovation that will put a stop to tanker fire on Nigeria roads, and secure skid tanks in petrol stations against possible fire outbreak. Economically, it will create jobs because to outfit every tank in the country with the technology will require massive manpower.”

Brown explained that this technology which had been used successfully in Egypt, Kuwait, and many other countries, is a failsafe system that improves the protection of people, the environment and infrastructures that are at risk when storing or conveying fuels.

He added that ExploStop is a metallic alloy that can be presented in different forms, namely mesh, spheres or sticks. He said its introduction, in whole or in part, improves the safety against explosions in deposits with inflammable liquids and gases.

Speaking on how the technology works, Brown said that in the event of fire, the heat received on the surface of the tank is distributed throughout the mass of the liquid and gas, delaying the appearance of crack in the tank and nucleation or Boiling liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion (BLEVE).

He said the new technology would decrease personal damage, economic losses of facilities, offer greater security to Nigerians and reduce social tensions affected by the transit of transport and the storage of fuels.

Brown added that it would protect the environment and minimise discharges while also protecting against corrosion and oxidation in metallic tanks. It also allows the welding of small holes and cracks in tanks without the need to empty them.

He said the technology can be used in all types of tanks, static or mobile, containing inflammable gases or liquids such as filling stations, LPG gas bottle companies, gas tanks and cylinders, storage tanks of chemical industries, trains and ships carrying inflatable products, refineries and pipelines, and many others.

Brown urged the Federal Government to embrace the technology and mandate it through legislation for companies to use to boost safety and safeguard against fire incidents. He also advised the private sector to key into it and invest in it.