On Friday, January 18th, 2019 , the Second Year and Third Year students of Chemical Engineering department, assisted by professors Dr. Rupali Karande and Dr. Ajit Gudekar visited Alkyl Amines Chemicals Limited near Patalganga on an Industrial Visit organised by DJSCE Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers (IIChE).
Upon reaching, the students were imparted with vital information on personal safety to be followed at all times during the visit by the COO of Alkyl Amines, Patalganga, Mr. Rakesh Goyal. He also warned the students about assembling at an assembly point in case of any contingencies during the visit. A brief session by Mr. Kirat Patel, the Executive Director of the plant, followed wherein he discussed how different alkyl amines namely methyl amines, ethyl amines, DEA (Diethyl Amines), TEA (Triethyl Amines) & absolute alcohol are manufactured by the plant, the current market scenarios and plant design.
The field visit took place in four batches of ten students each. The students first witnessed how the storage tanks and boilers functioned to supply steam for power generation. A visit to the control room proved gainly as the students interacted with the shift in-charge and the process controller- who explained the functioning of the whole unit and how he supervises the plant process handling based on the safety norms laid out by the safety officer. The plant design along with the operating conditions were also explained.
The theoretical knowledge was explained practically as the students visualised the flow sheets and various plant processes as they observed the ethyl and methyl amines plant up close. There were about six to seven distillation columns for every plant but were inaccessible due to safety concerns.
Students were introduced to the concept of hydrotests (converter safety check conducted every two years) wherein the contents of the converter are emptied out, filled them with water, cleaned followed by pumping pressure manually. The plant manufacturing thousands of tonnes of product annually is run solely on electricity barring the safety department which runs on diesel as a precaution in case of power contingencies.
In the post-lunch session that followed the plant visit, the students interacted with Mr. Kirat Patel effectively on plant design of pressurised liquid storage system. Later on, the students were briefed about plant safety protocols via a documentary covering the case study of the ill-famed Bhopal Gas Tragedy.
Mr. Kirat followed it by a presentation on safety norms, basic configuration and design conditions in terms of temperature and pressure. He explained the different steps employed for safety in large scale industries through consequence analysis. The measures taken are influenced by factors like wind speed and height of flame to mitigate catastrophes like pool fire, toxic releases and vapor cloud explosion.
Mr. Kirat added, “It is imperative for students to think about long term perspective rather than short-term gain because that is the basis for any industry to run on. So, hopefully, they learnt a good deal about the practical applications of what they have studied theoretically.”
DJSCE IIChE heartily thanks Alkyl Amines Chemicals Limited for such a wonderful experience and an opportunity for students to broaden their horizons.