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Analysing Methods For Producing Styrene Environmental Sciences Essay

The goal of this paper was to create a styrene herb that produces 30, 000 kg/h of styrene using the catalytic dehydrogenation of ethylbenzene (EB). This survey determined if the dehydrogenation of EB is an efficient (both chemically and financially) and practical approach to producing styrene. The paper sought to find out this by analysing the development process, cost of the building and owning a styrene flower, and the chemistry engaged.

Ethylbenzene is unsafe, a flammable liquid and is also a severe eyes irritant. It's the reactant found in the main procedure for the flower. It dehydrogenates to form styrene as the main response, but other area reactions form toluene and benzene. This chemical would cause issues with fires on site. ethylbenzene should be held away from the other flammable materials in process, to avoid the chance of open fire.

Styrene is a flammable liquid, mildly toxic, dangerous when inhaled ( for example it could cause headache, nausea, dizziness, muscle weakness; produces central stressed system depression; irritates nostril, lungs and throat. ), and it moderates irritability to sight and pores and skin. Styrene is affirmed as a carcinogen. It should be produced by the dehydrogenation of ethylbenzene. This substance can produce major incidents if a flame begins on site. The very best condition because of this chemical substance to be stored is on site for as short a time as you can, before being carried away by the tanker. Due styrene is flammable water it should be stored from other flammable chemicals such as ethylbenzene, toluene and further care should be studied to see the fire services of the danger, to make sure it is handled it immediately and properly. Pressure can build in aspect and they need to be checked for weakened items.

Toluene is very flammable, can cause irritation to skin and is also dangerous if inhaled. It is formed as one of the aspect reactions in the reactor, when styrene reacts with the hydrogen developed. Loss of containment would cause problems, due to the additional open fire risk. The chemical substance should be maintained from flammable chemicals.

Benzene can cause cancer tumor, is toxic, very flammable, frustrating to sight and skin. It really is unsafe for example it can cause lung destruction if swallowed. Benzene is developed along the way by the result of ethylbenzene and hydrogen. Benzene is the most violent substance in this technique. Lack of containment might have very serious off-site effects. Clearing up of any spills will be a problem, and extra care must be taken into consideration to ensure that people are trained to do so, as this chemical can destroy the environment.

2. 2 Effluents

Steam can be used as a power in order to keep the reaction going, and thus does not participate in any chemical effect itself. It isn't toxic, however great deal are needed, and attention must be taken that this water is extracted from the right source. This particular is reusable in this process. The risk of lack of containment depends greatly on the pressure of the heavy steam, excluding the heat, it ought to be relatively low risk.

2. 3 Emissions from other facilities

This would need to be completed when it's known what's released by facilities not far from.

2. 4 Support Materials

KOH is corrosive and hazardous if swallowed. It catalysts the dehydrogenation of ethylbenzene and reduces the energy required for this reaction.

Fe2O3 is non poisonous, does not have any risk to it and should not be considered as a dangerous chemical. It can be used as part of the catalyst for the main result of dehydration of ethylbenzene. Lack of containment shouldn't cause many problems, and neither should storage or transport. A couple of no special handling issues with this chemical substance.

Tertiary butyl catchol is poisonous to aquatic microorganisms, can cause skin area sensitisation and is an irritant. It decreases the amount of tars the styrene varieties from polymerisation. Disposal of this product would be difficult, and care must be studied to get rid of it in a manner that is safe for aquatic microorganisms. Relatively small amounts from it are needed, as it is merely an addition to the styrene, and doesn't be a part of any of the primary reaction.

2. 5 Services

The services required for this chemical place are fresh drinking water, electricity and gas. Some of the gas will be provided in the herb itself by the combustion of the light effect products, but gas it's still provided.

2. 6 Primary Materials of Construction

2. 7 Materials encountered during structure/demolition

i. Important physical and chemical substance properties

ii. Significant substance reactions

iii. Materials poisonous, reactive or severe Environmental impact

Estimates of inventory

Off site effects of Lack of Containment

vi. Means of handling and storage

vii. Special handling problems


3. 1 Environmental Impact Affirmation:

As chemical engineers; it is our responsibility to ensure that pollution is placed to the very least where safeness of the surroundings and natural habitats are key priorities by safe and appropriate method of containment and disposal of all throw away and effluents mixed up in manufacture of styrene.

3. 2 Other Environmental Factors:

The following recognizes how the product (styrene) is likely to be stored, handled and monitored:

Product: Styrene

Problem/Injury to environment: Mildly dangerous, flammable, irritive to eyesight, inhalation may cause frustration, nausea and dizziness.

Means of Containment: As stand 1 reveals; styrene would be best stored in Ny - nylon, PE - polyethylene, SS - stainless or TF- Teflon containers. A thick box of this material would be best suited to store styrene as it offers "only moderate changes in mass or dimensions" of styrene. Hirst (2002, p. 90).

Controlling and Monitoring: when exposed to styrene, wear protecting clothing such as long overalls and solid appropriate gloves to avoid direct contact with the merchandise.

Additional safety safeguards:

All clothes which were in touch with product should be washed and rinsed immediately.

Air ventilates in all rooms to eliminate any harmful vapour.

This table recognizes all by products and wastes produced through the produce of styrene and will be offering reasonable solutions as to how they can be removed:


Harm to Environment/ Hazard

Means of Containment



Carbon dioxide

Greenhouse gas which contributes to global warming

Compress carbon dioxide into water and inject into porous rock and roll.

Ethyl Benzene

Methyl Benzene


Additional normal water re-used back into stream 2


4. 1 Occupational Health Statement

4. 2 Statutory subjection limits

4. 4 Specific Requirements for Design

5. Travel AND SITING

5. 1 Carry Stages

There are three main methods for transportation - rail, road and ferry. To be able to determine the method by which we will transport the recycleables and the product (styrene) we would need to compare the costs and success of the different modes of move.

We must first look at the basic hazards and safety recommendations that must definitely be adhered to at all times in order for a successful carry system to be set up. If we take a closer go through the SDS for styrene, we can plainly see that there are two regions of the safeness data sheet that are very important: http://www. styreneforum. org/regulatory_index. html

Handling and Storage area:

Table 1


Avoid connection with skin, eye and clothing. Do not breathe vapour. Only use in well ventilated areas. Use local exhaust extraction. Extinguish any naked flames. Remove ignition resources. Avoid sparks. Usually do not smoke. Take precautionary measures against static discharges. Earth all equipment. Do not bare into drains.

Handling Temperatures



Keep from sunlight and other resources of warmth or ignition. Do not smoke in storage space areas.

Storage Temperatures

25 C maximum

Product Transfer

Take precautionary measures against static discharge. Earth all equipment. Avoid splash filling. Usually do not use compressed air for filling, discharging or managing. If positive displacement pumps are employed, these must be installed with a non-integral pressure alleviation valve. Restrict lines speed during pumping to avoid era of electrostatic release.

The table above shows the relevant risks and precautions needed to be able to handle and store styrene in the most comprehensively safe manner. These rules are crucial in the coverage of the staff special care should be taken to be able to ensure that everyone adheres to these guidelines in the strictest manner at all times. For example, there should be heavy repercussions for many who transgress these limitations, this would act as a powerful deterrent and would ensure that everyone complies.


Table 2


Reacts violently with strong oxidising real estate agents. Oxidises on contact with air. Polymerises exothermically on exposure to light, heat & most halides. In case of contact with normal water the inhibitor attentiveness might reduce and cause polymerisation.

Conditions to avoid

Heat, flames and sparks. Exposure to air. Contact with sunlight

Materials to avoid

Strong oxidising real estate agents. Halides.

Hazardous decomposition products

Decomposition products aren't expected to form during normal storage area.

When transporting styrene we have to consider the hazards of how it can react with other materials. The desk above is critical information that needs to be considered. We can see that it is very very important to styrene to be placed from any oxidising brokers, high temperature, flames and sparks. Due to the immense danger of fire we must go through the correct fire fighting measures required. Every one of the staff who are participating with styrene should be made aware of the steps that should be taken.

Effect of Loss of Containment on Occupied Buildings

It is really important that workers include the relevant protective equipment, and also the general public must be protected from any of the vapour entering the surroundings. Based on the MSDS for ethyl benzene ethyl benzene enters the body when you inhale air formulated with ethyl benzene. It gets into your body rapidly almost completely via your lungs. If ethyl benzene is ingested through food or water then it'll go into through the digestive system. It can also enter your skin layer as it pertains into connection with liquid containing ethyl benzene.

Styrene make a difference people by eating, drinking, respiration and skin contact (just like ethyl benzene). Matching to HPA Compendium of Chemical substance Risks Styrene (2008), "Inhaling air contaminated with styrene vapours can cause discomfort of the nasal and neck, coughing, wheezing and build-up of substance in the lungs. Severe exposures can lead to "styrene sickness", which pertains to some health effects due to depression of the central stressed system (CNS). These symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, weakness, tiredness, dizziness and unsteady and clumsy motion of the limbs. Styrene can be an irritant and contact with the skin can cause moderate irritation, itching and dermatitis. Getting splashes of styrene or vapours in the sight is likely to cause average to severe irritation".

Fire Fighting steps:

According to the MSDS by Ashland Chemical Co. (1999) you should:

"Wear a self-contained breathing apparatus with a complete face piece run in the positive pressure demand setting with appropriate turn-out products and chemical resistant personal protective equipment" using "regular foam, water fog, skin tightening and, dry chemical" as the extinguishing multimedia. The respiratory security is essential because of the unsafe emissions like "skin tightening and and carbon monoxide, various hydrocarbons".

The raw materials that are being used are ethyl benzene and normal water. If we check out occupational exposure restrictions list EH40/2005 which has been approved by medical and safety payment ethyl benzene has the following exposure restricts properties:


CAS Number

Work Place Subjection Limit


Long-term exposure

limit (8-hour TWA

reference period)

ppm mg. m-3

Short-term publicity limit (15-minute reference period)

ppm mg. m-3

Ethyl benzene


100 441 125 552


R11. 20

Table 3

King (1990) says that "OELs are the maximum concentrations in air of the chemicals that ought to not be exceeded in the deep breathing zone of workers". We can note that the long-term visibility limit is 100ppm and the short term limit is 125ppm. It is critical that these limits aren't exceeded and the restrictions are implemented rigorously.

According to Wentz (1998) chapter 13 personal protecting equipment, the relevant basic safety precautions is always to provide:

Respiratory Cover - which is compressed air series breathing apparatus for use with a full face mask, half mask or a mouthpiece assembly.

Eye Cover - Style B substance splash goggles are suggested.

Protective Clothing - Boots and apron are suggested. When there is a threat of ethyl benzene splashing or within an ethyl benzene spillage, a substance resilient one-piece overall with integral hood and chemical resistant gloves should be worn.

5. 3 - Potential Effects from Existing Plant life:

There are many effects from existing plant life. I have outlined many of these in the last sections. For instance, the consequences of breathing air polluted with styrene. However, we must look very critically at the result it may have on the ecosystem. The relevant EU authorities have explained that styrene matches the criteria for ready biodegradation and it is therefore a element that will break down very quickly and won't stay in the ecosystem for lengthy (in circumstances in which it could be dangerous).

Another point that helps the view that styrene isn't very bad for the surroundings is the actual fact that the European Environmental Risk Assessment of styrene figured no classification is needed. Therefore, they don't see styrene as being a significant risk.


Company policies relating to Health, Safe practices and the surroundings:

1. Smoking is prohibited in every regions of the premises; both indoors and outdoors and in any other enclosed spaces. Smoking is only permitted in a specified location at a safe distance from the facility and everything equipment.

2. Drink and food should only be used in dining areas and everything employees must completely wash their hands prior to controlling food.

3. Flame extinguishers must be present in all elements of the premises. One should be in every room/corridor or other separated enclosure. It must be plainly obvious and accessible. All Employees must be fully been trained in their procedure.

4. Open fire alarms must be present in every rooms/corridors and must be clearly agreed upon and accessible all the time.

5. All employees should not lift any objects that they are physically uncomfortable with lifting. They need to require assistance during any moving process and movement of chemicals/other unsafe materials should be supervised.

6. Where necessary, personnel must wear appropriate physical protection. This consists of hard hat, jacket, gloves, goggles etc. Safety guidelines should be accessible in all control areas and must be clear and noticeable.

7. All materials delivering potential health threats must be carefully and properly covered. This will be examined prior to and after moving, and at least once daily.

8. All equipment must be managed properly and regularly to the manufacturers recommendations. This must be carried out by someone trained to take action and must be supervised.

9. Equipment involving high temperatures and pressures must be located at a safe distance from all areas largely filled by employees.

10. Equipment conditions (temperature, pressure, stream rate etc) must be regularly checked and alarms must maintain place to discover lack of control.

11. Control buttons must be capable of complete shutdown and isolation of any and all equipment and pipes.

12. Emissions must be carefully controlled and must fall season within limits set by environmentally friendly Health Firm.

13. All of the above policies must be evaluated each month to ensure there are being upheld consistently. This must be carried out by an external professional.

The styrene seed will stick to all the insurance policies lay out above and everything the regulations will be considered and incorporated into the design of the flower to ensure they can be consistently and proficiently met.


Authorities to be contacted

Reason to Contact


8. 1 Environment

Exact sizing of the place is yet to be researched, but predicated on a seed in Somerville Rd Brooklyn in Melbourne owned by Huntsman Chemical Company of Australia Pty Ltd, it is likely to be approximately 40 hectares (400 km2). With regards to the proximity to civilisation, this area may increase to make a safe perimeter.

Wildlife will be influenced by this development and so study needs to be done in to the located area of the site and habitation. Some animals may equally be a potential risk to the procedure of the seed itself.

8. 2 Noise

The exposure limit principles are a regular or regular personal noise vulnerability of 87 dB; and a peak acoustics pressure of 140 dB. Analysis therefore must be done to research the amount of noise produced by the machines that will operate in this flower.

8. 3 Health Effects

As defined in section 2, lots of the materials included present dangers to health. All outputs in the liquid period are irritants plus some are known carcinogens. Many of the gaseous outputs are asphyxiates and flammable. The following emission settings are enforced for legal reasons (time weighted average):

Ethylbenzene: TWA: 100 STEL: 125 (ppm) [United Kingdom (UK)]

Benzene: TWA: 1. 6 (mg/m3) [United Kingdom (UK)]

Styrene: Long-term visibility limit (8-hour TWA limit reference period) 430 mg. m-3

8. 4 Personal Protection Criteria

Noise - personnel should be provided with noise cover when noise levels go beyond the noise visibility limit mentioned above.

Emissions - In places of the plant where there is gaseous end result, workers should discover dirt respirators or gas masks where necessary. All staff must be given training on identifying gas leaks and crisis procedures.

Machinery - Employees should be provided with personal safety when working with equipment or handling equipment. This includes gloves, hard hat, protecting boots and presence jackets. Staff should be trained not to lift any heavy or dangerous materials.


We have already made the scale estimations for the primary components of our process. However, there are several guidelines concerning developing the process that we must follow tightly. These are immensely important specifically in inhibiting any risks that may occur.

The safe-keeping tanks for styrene should be kept aside from other substances such as strong acids and oxidising providers because of the way in which styrene may respond with these substances if there were any unfortunate accidents (see 5. 1). Also, pushes should be utilized for discharge. Relating to appendix 5 (design and construction of storage space tanks), "Pumps should be located outside reservoir bunds, by using an impervious base, in an open space, and not in walled or confined places. " They should also be produced "of either solid steel or stainless steel. Copper, bronze or clear plastic shouldn't be used".

Also, "valves should be fixed on all bottom outlet stores of a tank, unless these branches are blanked off". Furthermore, the size of the various tanks should be acceptable when thinking about the method of transport. For instance, if the size of the tanks does not comply with certain requirements for transport then that might be a major problem when exporting the styrene produced. Another important guideline is the fact styrene should not be stored for too long. This is because extended safe-keeping times will undoubtedly lead to the deterioration of styrene quality.

The materials that are suited to use with styrene are carbon metal or stainless steel. This is also an essential guideline. If an wrong material is in contact with styrene then salts can be made. For instance, if carbon or alloys of carbon are being used then soluble carbon salts can be made.

A manhole (of minimum amount 500mm diameter) is an essential criterion for each tank to allow for cleaning and inspection. The tanks should also have an all natural gradient that is sloped towards outlet, there should be no blockages.

Also, tanks which contain flammable liquids must have a PVRV valve (pressure/vacuum relief valve). This is essential in conditions where the pressure exceeds too much or vacuum conditions.

Key Design Standards & codes



10. 1 Suitability and Availability of Staff

10. 2 New systems of Work and Procedures

10. 4 Site Crisis Facilities and Roles/Responsibilities

10. 5 Facilities for peak development staffing


11. 1 - Environmental Responsibility:

As I have already explained styrene doesn't really pose much of a risk to the surroundings when compared to other substances. Furthermore there are no links to styrene being a carcinogenic. However, we still have a responsibility in safeguarding the ecosystem. It is because (as explained before) high degrees of styrene can be potentially lethal and certainly greatly harmful.

A major attribute of styrene that enables it to be relatively suitable in the surroundings is its volatility. If styrene is spilled or contaminates water it will gradually turn into vapour and little will in actuality dissolve or remain in the ground. The speed at which this process occurs is determined by the temp and turbulence. As the heat and the turbulence escalates the volatility raises.

11. 2 - Wealth Creation:

The procedure for producing styrene on a sizable scale has a significant benefit particularly on the local population surrounding the styrene herb. There are always a colossal variety of jobs created in the community starting from transportation of recycleables to basic operatives. The local community can therefore take good thing about this and unemployment levels in the neighborhood area should plummet. The general wealth of the city will in turn increase so the plant is in effect responsible for the local area becoming more productive financially.

11. 3 - Sociable Development:

James Midgley (1995, p. 25) claims, " process of planned interpersonal change made to promote the well-being of the populace all together in conjunction with a dynamic process of economical development". Therefore, the very aim of cultural development is to raised a community. The increase in prosperity achieves this goal and so will propel them on their road to interpersonal development. Friendly development is connected very firmly with financial qualifications. As the community's prosperity will increase (see 11. 2), the city will, subsequently, develop socially in support of grow in position.

11. 1 Environmental Responsibility

The EU government bodies have concluded that styrene is not bio-accumulative and fulfills the "ready biodegradation" conditions of the 29th Adaptation to Technical Progress of the Dangerous Substances Directive. The Western european Environmental Risk Evaluation of styrene has figured no classification is needed.

Persistence of Styrene in the environment is very limited because of its volatility from soils and surface waters, its quick damage in air and its own biodegradation in soils, and surface and floor waters.

Styrene is moderately poisonous to aquatic organisms. Because of its high depletion rate from water the subjection rate is quite low.

More information on Styrene environmental effects can be found in Section 4"Environmental Aspects".

What happens when styrene gets into the environment

For the most part, inert products such as plastic material parts, product packaging etc. bring in styrene into the environment through the production and disposal operations with proof styrene contamination being found in air, water and earth soils. However, in unlinked liquid form it gets into the environment quickly and in much larger amounts through evaporation and is also further broken down by bacteria found in water and soils allowing further speedy entry. It isn't expected to type in the food chain by grazing pets or animals.

How will it really affect humans

Surprisingly, for a fairly commonly used commercial product, little is known about the consequences of styrene on us, that which you do know as of yet is that although exposure might not lead to any observeable symptoms at all, inhaling and exhaling high degrees of styrene for brief periods can lead to possible respiratory problems and anxious system results such as depression, tiredness, nausea, muscle weakness, ENT irritation. There happens to be no test data on the effects of inhaling and exhaling low levels for a long period, nor is any data on the effects of ingestion or absorption although pet studies uncovered various symptoms such as damage to the brain, kidneys, liver and lung along with some reproductive effects.

The International Company for Research on Cancer and environmentally friendly Protection Agency in addition has now decided that styrene could be a possible carcinogen to humans in airborne form and several studies of staff show that respiration styrene could cause leukemia. There is absolutely no current evidence to aid any tumors or health risks for nal nished products filled with styrene where skin contact or ingestion has happened.

Clearly, styrene is a toxic, dangerous product in its fresh form. It nds its way into the market in either sound form e. g. plastic parts, packing etc. or in liquid form. It is not bad for humans in its inert stable form although it is bad for the surroundings if not removed correctly. It really is bad for humans in liquid form both as a nished product and during produce.

11. 2 Wealth Creation:

The process of producing styrene on a sizable scale has a major advantage particularily on the neighborhood population encompassing the styrene flower as there's a great number of careers that are manufactured for people. The local community can therefore take advantage of this and unemployment levels in the neighborhood area should plummet. The overall wealth of the community will subsequently increase and so the plant is in effect responsible for the local area becoming more profitable financially.

11. 3 Social Development


Further Studies would have to be conducted in the following area to assure the engineering of the place is safe and possible:

Wildlife in the neighborhood area - Have an effect on any emissions/noise may have.

Local community - if the neighborhood would be content with a styrene development vegetable in the area

Noise made by plant equipment

Emissions of Benzene, Ethylbenzene, and Methylbenzene produced by the crops after lowering methods are complete. These gases are harmful and have publicity limits which must be fulfilled.

Emergency steps and effects of plant layout

Appendix c

Hazard Analysis 1 - Chemical Hazard Form

Project No.

Page of

Description Date:

Chemical or Band of Chemicals

Physical State

Quantity (Inventory or throughput)











Hazard Potential Key: - - Insignificant Hazard

K - Hazards Known and Understood

- - Significant Hazard

No. - See Numbered Notes













Explosion and Flammability Hazards



Electrical Static

Reactivity/Stability Hazards

Immediate Health Hazards

Inhalation Toxicity

Other Toxicity



Chronic Health Hazards

Other Health Hazards



Environmental Hazards




Hazardous Breakdown Products

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