Udayavni Special

What is Styrene, the gas that leaked from Visakhapatnam plant and killed 9


Team Udayavani, May 7, 2020, 3:33 PM IST

Styrene Gas

It’s a colour less and mild sweet smelling gas.

Produced by dehydrogenation of ethyle benzene using steam of 600 degree celcius and iron oxide as catalyst. Reaction is endothermic (absorbs heat) and reversible.

Uses- Latex,synthetic rubber,containers, insulation etc.
Also found in indoors when photocopies and prints are taken.

LG COMPANY USED FOR MANUFACTURING ELECTRIC GOODS.The factory is run by South Korean electronics giant LG. The company was originally Hindusthan Polymers, which was launched in 1961. It was taken over by LG in 1997 and renamed to LG Polymers India Pvt Ltd.

Effects:
ACUTE(SHORT term exposure)- Drowsiness, itching, vomitting,hearing disorder and eye problem.
Cronic(long term exposure)- carcinogenic ,leukemia

Care should be taken that it doesn’t mix with water as dam is situated 2km away.Chances of mixing is less but as high concentration is let out care should be taken.

Urgent need – evacuation and dilution as it’s vapours.Methylenedioxybenzene (MDB) and Trichlorobenzene (TCB) is being used to prevent further release.

Nahusha Shetty (Specialized in environmental engineering)
Assistant professor
Department of civil engineering
MIT Manipal

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