Processing Magazine

US Chemical Safety Board investigates chemical leak at Citgo East Refinery

March 13, 2012

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — U.S. Chemical Safety Board officials are investigating a unit that leaked chemicals at the Citgo East Refinery last week, Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported.

The inquiry is part of a larger investigation into a 2009 hydrofluoric acid leak at the alkylation unit that critically injured a worker, the article stated.

At about 8:00 p.m. on March 5, chemical sensors detected a leak of propane, butane, pentane and hydrofluoric acid from an alkylation unit, which is used in the production of gasoline.

The board is testing the failed flange with nitrogen gas and measuring pressure loss to estimate the size of the release.

It also will look at several failed bolts from the flange and other data, including records from previous hydrofluoric acid releases at the alkylation unit, according to the safety board.