Leaking Cylinders

LEAKING CYLINDERS

HANDLING AND DISPOSAL OF LEAKING CYLINDERS

GENERAL PRECAUTIONS IN HANDLING AND STORAGE

1. Never drop cylinders or permit them to strike each other
violently.

2. Cylinders should be assigned a definite area for storage. The
area should be dry, cool, well_ventilated, and preferably
fire_resistant. Keep cylinders protected from excessive tempera
ture rise by storing them away from radiators or other sources of
heat. Storage conditions should comply with local, state and
federal_regulations.
3. Cylinders may be stored in the open, but in such cases should
be protected against extremes of weather and from the dampness of
the ground to prevent rusting. During the summer, cylinders
stored in the open should be shaded against the continuous direct
rays of the sun in those localities where extreme temperatures
prevail.

4. The valve protection cap should be left in place until the
cylinder has been secured against a wall or bench, or placed in a
cylinder stand, and is ready to be used.

5. Avoid dragging, rolling, or sliding cylinders, even for a
short distance. They should me moved by means of a suitable hand
truck.

6. Never tamper with safety devices in valves or cylinders.

7. When returning empty cylinders, close the valve before ship
ment, leaving some positive pressure in the cylinder. Mark or
label the cylinder EMPTY. Do not store full and empty cylinders
together.

8. No part of a cylinders should be subjected to a temperature
higher than 125 degree F. A flame should never be permitted to
come in contact with any part of a compressed gas cylinder.
Temperatures in excess of 125 degree F may cause a cylinder to
become liquid full and create dangerous hydrostatic pressures.

9. Cylinder content of liquefied gases is determined by weight;
the cylinder content of non liquefied gases by gauge pressure.

10. Before using, read all data sheets and label information
associated with the use of the gas concerned.

GENERAL PRECAUTIONS IN USING GASES

1. Close off main cylinder valve when not in use.
2. Needle valve or auxiliary cut off valve in the line and
located at the cylinder. Do not relay purely on the cyl-
linder valve.
3. Turnover cylinders in reasonable time. Corrosive gases
should be three months or less.

4. Always use gases in areas where adequate ventilation is
provided.
5. Keep cylinders in outside storage, or have manifold
piping low pressure gas into buildings.
6. Use the smallest practical size of cylinder for your gas
applications.
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DISPOSAL OF LEAKING CYLINDERS

On occation, despite precautions, gas cylinders or systems
may develop leaks. We recommend that the supplier be contacted
to determine appropriate disposal procedures. Disposal pro
cedures described below should be investigated as to their con
formity with all regulations issued by the appropriate authori
ties. Disposal of gases is a complex problem and should be
undertaken only by personnel who are familiar with the gas in
volved and the disposal procedures. When in doubt, contact the
supplier for instructions.
If in doubt as to the proper disposal procedures,isolate the
leaking cylinder in a vented or open area, and contact the sup
plier for disposal procedures.

A-FLAMMABLE GASES

Leaks of flammable gases require special handling. All
sources of ignition should be eliminated at once. If practical,
the cylinder should be removed to a safe, out-of-doors area, and
plainly tagged as defective. If the gas is also toxic (e.g.,
carbon monoxide), proper breathing equipment should be donned
before transporting the cylinder to the disposal area. Warnings
should be posted in the area to prevent persons from approaching
the cylinder with lit cigarettes or open flames. Attach appro
priate control valve to the cylinder valve outlet and adjust the
gas discharge to a moderate discharge rate. When the cylinder is
empty, close the cylinder valve and follow the supplier’s direc
tions for cylinder return, after informing the supplier of the
defect.
The local fire department may be of help in removing the
leaking cylinder to the disposal area.
Undoubtly, the best procedure for disposal of flammable
gases would be to burn the gas if a burning unit is available in
the plant.

B-ALKALINE GASES
The alkaline gases are corrosive, flammable, and toxic.
Leaks of alkaline gases, such as ammonia and the lower alkali
alkalamines, may be handled in the following manner. Shut off
all ignition sources. Put on appropriate protective equipment
(face mask, rubber gloves, breathing equipment) before transport
ing the cylinder to a hood with forced ventilation, or to a safe
out-of-doors area. If leak is minor, wrap wet rags around leak
ing part of cylinder and transport the cylinder to the disposal
area.

Warnings should be posted in the area to prevent persons
from approaching with lit cigarettes or open flames. Attach an
appropriate control valve equipped with a trap or check valve and
a long piece of flexible hose connected to the control valve
outlet. Discharge the gas at a moderate rate into an adequate
amount of 10-20% aqueous sulfuric acid solution. After all the
gas has been discharged, the vessel containing the resulting
solution may be transported to the plant treating unit for neu
tralization and disposal. When the cylinder is empty, close the
control valve. The cylinder should be tagged as defective and
returned to the supplier according to the supplier’s directions.
The local fire department may be of help in transporting the
leaking cylinder to the disposal area.

C-INERT GASES

Leaking cylinders of inert gases, such as
argon,helium,nitrogen,etc., do not represent a hazard unless they
are situated in confined places with no ventilation. In the
latter case, the inert gases may create a hazard by displacing
the amount of air necessary to support life. The cylinder should
be removed to an out-of-doors area or a hood with forced ventila
tion (breathing equipment should be work, however,if the issuing
gas is in a confined place). The cylinder valve should be
“cracked” to allow the gas to discharge at a moderate rate.
After the gas has been discharged, close the cylinder valve. The
cylinder should be tagged as defective and returned to the sup
plier according to the supplier’s directions.

D-ACID GASES

Acid gases are corrosive and toxic. Therefore, put on
appropriate protective equipment (face shield, rubber gloves,
breathing equipment) before transporting the leaking cylinder to
a safe out-of-doors area or a hood with forced ventilation.
Attach an appropriate control valve provided with a trap or check
valve and a long piece of flexible hose connected to the control
valve outlet. Discharge the gas at a moderate rate into an
adequate amount of about 15% aqueous sodium hydroxide or other
alkali in a suitable container. When all the gas has been dis
charged, close the cylinder valve, and transport the resulting
salt solution to the plant treating unit for neutralization and
disposal. The cylinder should be tagged as a defective and
returned to the supplier according to the supplier’s directions.

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