CNF has undertaken several root cause investigations into the catastrophic failure of anerobic digestors across the wastewater and manufacturing industry sectors. The failures present not only WHS and environmental hazards but can lead to costly plant downtime and extensive repair works.
CNF has noted several similarities in the cause of the incidents:
- Inadequate, unsuitable or unmaintainable overpressure protections;
- Lack of understanding of the processes that can lead to a pressure build up;
- Missing tell-tale changes to the processing conditions and spurious methane emissions that indicated process instability.
CNF was responsible for:
- Site investigations;
- Reviewing safety, operational and control systems;
- Reviewing control system data logs and events;
- Determining the root cause of the failures;
- Recommending changes to hardware, process monitoring, control system protection and operational procedures to avert future incidents;
- Implementing low-cost remedial works to ensure similar plants on the site are protected;
- Reviewing repair methodology for damaged plant and equipment.