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Post-Publication Author Questionnaire with Rolf Eckhoff

By: , Posted on: December 14, 2016

explosion hazards in the process industries

We sit down with Author of Explosion Hazards in the Process Industries, 2nd Edition, Paul Eckhoff to ask what inspires him and why he decided to write a book.

  1. What is your particular area of expertise?

Prevention and mitigation of accidental explosions in the process industries.

  1. What first inspired you to study your area of expertise?

I was first introduced to this subject (dust explosions) during my post graduate studies at King’s College, University of London, UK, 1966-68. During the early 1970-es Norwegian process industry experienced a series of dust explosions, some of them very serious. As the only trained “expert” in the country, I got involved both in research, consultancy, standard writing, and even a court case. Later, during the late 1970-es/early 1980-es, as Norwegian oil and gas industry developed at great pace, I got quite heavily involved in research aimed at preventing and mitigating gas and vapour explosions in that industry.

  1. Why would readers want to read your book?

I deliberately made the book very verbal, with very few mathematical equations. This was because I aimed explaining the various phenomena and processes in a way that could be understood also by people with no academic background and/or specific background in the field covered by the book. The book should be useful to most administrative and operative levels in process industries that have to handle one or more accidental explosion hazards, right from the workers in the various operations, to the top management.

  1. What subject areas and industries does this book directly relate to?

The book primarily relates to all industries handling combustible materials, including chemical, metallurgical, pharmaceutical and food/feed industries e.g. grain elevators and flour mills. For each of the explosion categories covered by the book (gas/vapour, spray/mist, dust, water vapour, and explosives/pyrotechnics) both combustion properties and ignition sources (except for water vapour), accidental explosion case histories, and means of prevention and mitigation, are covered.

  1. What are the biggest pain points in the industry?

Experience has shown that human mistake is a key root cause of many serious explosion accidents in the process industries. One major reason for this is lack of adequate knowledge about the various explosion hazards and means of their prevention and mitigation. This in turn quite naturally gives rise to a corresponding lack of ability and motivation for dealing with the hazards in an adequate way.

  1. What problems/challenges does this book address and what problem does it solve for your readers?

This question seems in part to be covered by some of the answers above. The book explains what the various kinds of explosion hazards that can occur in the process industries are, and how they can be prevented and mitigiated.

  1. What topics and subjects does this book uniquely address and what value does it add to the industry?

This question seems to be covered by some of the answers above. I think that the book should be in the shelves of any industrial plant handling and/or processing materials that can cause accidental explosions.

  1. What do you think will be the next big discovery or development in your field?

I foresee that as the years go by, comprehensive computer codes for predicting the development and effects of various kinds of accidental explosions will become available.

  1. Why did you choose Elsevier to publish this work?

My comprehensive book “Dust explosions in the process Industry”, 3rd edition (2003) has been published with Elsevier, and it is my understanding that they have handled the task of publishing the book in a very satisfactory and professional way. Also Elsevier is a big publisher on an international scale, which is good for making the books that they publish, known worldwide.

About the book

explosion hazards in the process industries

Explosion Hazards in the Process Industries provides a definitive source for process safety and petrochemical engineers as the go-to reference and training guide for learning the principles of explosions, their causes, and mitigation and prevention strategies.

  • Offers a comprehensive introduction to process safety
  • Includes updated new chapters on Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosions (BLEVE), water vapor explosions, and destructive effects for accidental explosions
  • Gains new case studies, references, and standards to stay on top of what is new and critical
  • Establishes the starting point to process safety and understanding the fundamentals of explosions and how to mitigate them

For a limited time, you can read Chapter Three: Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosions (BLEVEs) below:

Download (PDF, 1.48MB)

About the Author

Rolf K. Eckhoff is Professor Emeritus of Process Safety Technology in the Department of Physics and Technology at University of Bergen, Norway. He is also concurrent professor at Northeastern University, Shen-yang, China, and Scientific Advisor at Oresund Safety Advisors AB, Malmo, Sweden. He is the author and co-author of more than 150 technical and scientific publications and more than 130 research reports. He has advised Industry committees on numerous occasions, lectured to courses, conferences, and seminars in a number of countries in Europe, Bahrain, Isreal, China, India, Australia, Canada, and the US. Dr. Eckhoff earned a Masters in Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Trondheim, a Master of Philosophy from the University of London, a Doctor Technicae in Dust Explosions from the University of Trondheim, and a Doctor of Science (Eng.) degree from the University of London.

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