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Report Shows Metal Tube Ruptured, Causing Fire at California Renewables Facility *Centurion Insurance AFS*

Feb 23, 2024 (0) comment , , , , , , , , , , , ,


The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board released an update on the agency’s investigation of a Nov. 19, 2023, fire at the Martinez Renewables facility in Martinez, California, finding that a metal tube ruptured within a reactor charge furnace during a unit startup.

The furnace pre-heats renewable feedstock recycled renewable diesel, and hydrogen before processing. The ruptured tube reportedly released hot renewable diesel and hydrogen, resulting in a fire that seriously injured one employee who suffered third-degree burns to most of his face and body.

The CSB’s update involves several events in the incident timeline, including activities occurring on the night shift of Nov. 18 when Marathon was in the process of starting up the hydrodeoxygenation unit. Within the hour leading up to the incident, Marathon operations staff were reportedly attending to furnace temperature control issues and high temperature alarms inside the furnace.

Marathon operations staff increased the flow of material through the furnace and directed a field operator to turn off two of the furnace burners to reduce temperatures within the furnace, according to the investigation. Just after the field operator had completed this action at the furnace, a tube ruptured within the furnace, resulting in the fire that severely burned the field operator.


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