Dry Disconnect Couplings Dry Disconnect Couplings Help a Manufacturer Manage the Toxic Substance Phenol Safely

Author / Editor: Dave Morrow / Manja Wühr

There are some substances you take no chances with — and one of these is phenol. When heated above 54 °C it becomes a viscous liquid that is highly toxic and hazardous. Therefore the SI Group was looking for safety phenol-handling applications.

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SI Group relies on OPW Drylok Dry Disconnect Couplers throughout its chemical plant. (Picture: OPW)
SI Group relies on OPW Drylok Dry Disconnect Couplers throughout its chemical plant. (Picture: OPW)

Phenol’s toxicity explains why the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established a permissible exposure limit (PEL) to the skin for phenol of 5 ppm over an eight-hour work period. Additionally, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has determined that phenol is immediately dangerous to life or health when exposure reaches 250 ppm. Yet phenol and its derivatives are extremely useful substances. Alkylated phenols, for instance, are used in the production of rubber, industrial resins, adhesive, fuels, lubricants, and plastics additives.

In fact, phenol could be said to be the lifeblood of the SI Group, Schenectady, NY/USA, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of phenolic resins, alkylphenolic resins and alkylated phenols. The SI Group has operating facilities on six continents and clients in more than 90 countries. One of the SI Group’s operating facilities in the USA is SI Group Manufacturing, located in Freeport, TX/USA.

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“We are a leading producer of alkyl phenols and our products serve a vital role in a variety of markets, from surfactants to lubricants, engineered plastics, and paint and fuel additives,” explains Doug Wright, Manager-Quality Assurance for SI Group Manufacturing’s Texas-based operations. “Phenol is one of our raw materials, and one of the key building blocks. We react it with other materials to create these alkylated phenols. We make 17 to 20 unique products or grades of phenols, and we’re a 24/7 operation.”