Safe pumping of fuels through metering of antistatic additives using LEWA metering systems
Every material or object contains positive and negative electrical charges. Normally, the electrical charges are balanced out. The object is electrically neutral. An electrostatic charge occurs when the object is moved. The charge arises from a contact or friction between two objects and a subsequent separation. The process is referred to as a triboelectric effect or as tribo-electricity. There is an electron transfer from one material or substance to another. The effect occurs both for solids and liquids.
Due to the low conductivity of fuels, the described effect occurs at conveying substances such as gasoline, petroleum or kerosene. If discharge sparks form, this can lead to a fatal explosion in an appropriate atmosphere. The consequences range from the loss of the product through the destruction of equipment and machinery to the mortal danger of people working in the vicinity of the pipeline.
For this reason, a small amount of antistatic agent is added to the fuels. Antistatic additives reduce the risk of electrostatic charge by improving the dissipation of excess electrical charges.
LEWA metering systems ensure a correct addition of antistatic agents to set the fuel’s conductivity. Often only extremely small amounts are required. A diluted antistatic agent solution can then be provided in a mixing container. The diluted solution is added from the mixing container into the fuel pipeline in small quantities. Using appropriate instruments and a control cabinet with LEWA smart control, the conductivity of the fuel in the pipeline is constantly monitored and, if necessary, re-adjusted in a closed loop.