Static Ignition Dangers of Ethanol in Distilleries
While being a proprietor of a distillery can be a rewarding and profitable undertaking, it is not without its challenges and risks. There are two major hazards in alcohol distilling; fire and explosion. The process of making hard alcohol, such as whiskey, bourbon and gin is fraught with danger, with the potential for fire occurring from the release of flammable compounds such as ethanol (alcohol). These vapors can come from leaks in tanks, casks and equipment such as transfer pumps, pipes and flexible hoses. A vapor explosion can occur if enough vapors are released in an enclosed space with an ignition source, such as static electricity. The processes that go into producing bourbon whiskey appear simple, but they can produce an infinitely complex and subtle drink.
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