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Explosion Protection Case Study Can Food Explode? – Explosion Protection for Muesli Bars

| Editor: Dominik Stephan

When eating a muesli bar, one doesn’t normally think of explosions – And yet, the f&b industry is full of explosion hazards. Reason enough for foods giant Nestlé to consider an up-to-date explosion prevention solution. The result is both safe and tasty...

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Dust explosions are the potential hazard in the manufacture of muesli bars; and preventing them from occurring will not only save on downtime but also enhance health and safety issues in the manufacturing facility.
Dust explosions are the potential hazard in the manufacture of muesli bars; and preventing them from occurring will not only save on downtime but also enhance health and safety issues in the manufacturing facility.
(Picture: Snehal Pillai)

Rembe is a worldwide safety specialist in explosion protection, process safety and industrial measurement technology. It provides customers with crosssector safety systems for their plants and equipment.

All products are made in Germany and meet the requirements of national and international regulations. Its customers include market leaders in numerous sectors, including the food, wood, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The Q-Rohr-3 is the only flameless venting system for use in enclosed spaces that meets virtually all international safety standards.

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Food Moods – Why Muesli Can Actually Explode

When eating a muesli bar, one doesn’t normally think of explosions. And yet the manufacturing process of a muesli bar does indeed pose such a hazard. Whenever its components—especially oatmeal—are transported, they produce dust as a side effect. All the ingredients are surrounded by oxygen during production. So when there is a source of ignition, such as a mechanical spark, then all the conditions are in place for an explosion.

The route that is taken by a grain of oatmeal in the production of muesli must not be underestimated. It dashes through the pipe system at high speed. Dust allergies pose to be a hindrance as dust can be found almost everywhere in this production process. For safety and hygiene reasons, therefore, the dust is removed in a suction process.

However, vacuuming the dust does not automatically remove all the hazards. All that is needed for an explosion is the right concentration of dust, a source of ignition and oxygen. To keep the impact of such an incident as low as possible, it is important to have an efficient explosion protection system—a generic term which covers a wide range of protective measures. One of them is Rembe’s Q-Rohr, the original flameless venting system.

Like a High–Performance Heat Exchanger

Ultimately what takes place within the Q-Rohr-3 is an energy transfer. The specially developed stainless steel mesh filter removes heat from the flame, thus extinguishing it, reducing the gas volume and containing the dust particles churned up in the explosion.

Come on Baby, Light my Fire: Explosion Protection at Powtech 2013
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At the same time, it minimizes the pressure increase from the explosion and also any noise pollution down to a level that is barely perceptible. It also reduces the impact of an explosion, the Q-Rohr also serves to protect other parts of the plant and the workforce by not permitting burnt or unburnt dust particles to pass through.

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