Tanker Explosion

II. Properties of Diesel

Note: I am trying to search for a MSDS of diesel at Shell Philippines website, unfortunately I found nothing thus a MSDS from Shell in another country is used instead.

The MSDS of diesel indicates that its physical and chemical properties including handling and hazards associated with it are:


Initial Boiling Point and Boiling Range : 170 - 390 °C / 338 - 734 °F
Flash point : Typical 63 °C / 145 °F (ASTM D-93 / PMCC)
Lower / upper Flammability or Explosion limits : 1 - 6 %(V)
Auto-ignition temperature : > 220 °C / 428 °F

Vapour pressure : < 1 hPa at 20 °C / 68 °F Density : Typical 0.84 g/cm3 at 15 °C / 59 °F Kinematic viscosity : 2 - 4.5 mm2/s at 40 °C / 104 °F Stability : Stable under normal conditions of use. Conditions to Avoid : Avoid heat, sparks, open flames and other ignition sources. Product Transfer : Avoid splash filling. Wait 2 minutes after tank filling (for tanks such as those on road tanker vehicles) before opening hatches or manholes. Wait 30 minutes after tank filling (for large storage tanks) before opening hatches or manholes. Keep containers closed when not in use. Do not use compressed air for filling, discharging or handling. Contamination resulting from product transfer may give rise to light hydrocarbon vapour in the headspace of tanks that have previously contained gasoline. This vapour may explode if there is a source of ignition. Partly filled containers present a greater hazard than those that are full, therefore handling, transfer and sampling activities need special care. Handling : Avoid inhaling vapour and/or mists. Avoid prolonged or repeated contact with skin. When using do not eat or drink. Extinguish any naked flames. Do not smoke. Remove ignition sources. Avoid sparks. Earth all equipment. Electrostatic charges may be generated during pumping. Electrostatic discharge may cause fire. The vapour is heavier than air, spreads along the ground and distant ignition is possible. Safety Hazards : May ignite on surfaces at temperatures above auto-ignition temperature. Vapour in the headspace of tanks and containers may ignite and explode at temperatures exceeding autoignition temperature, where vapour concentrations are within the flammability range. Not classified as flammable but will burn. Electrostatic charges may be generated during pumping. Electrostatic discharge may cause fire.

About the Author

Ver Pangonilo
A Filipino Engineer, Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) - Australia and Professional Electrical Engineer (PEE) - Philippines with extensive experience in concept select, front-end engineering, HV & LV detail design, construction and commissioning of Hazardous and Non-Hazardous Area electrical installations in water and waste water pipeline and pumping facilities, offshore platforms, hydrocarbon process plants and pipelines including related facilities. Hazardous area classification and design certification (UEENEEM015B, UEENEEM016B, UEENEEM017B).
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