From: Eugene Ngai <eugene_ngai**At_Symbol_Here**COMCAST.NET>
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Specialty Gas Blog
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2021 22:33:39 -0400
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU>
Message-ID: 005101d75820$dd56f3e0$9804dba0$**At_Symbol_Here**

As many of you know by now, my mission today is to transfer as much of my 50 years of gas industry learnings to this generation and the future as possible. I have been fortunate to have learned from the first generation of Specialty Gas Engineers and Chemists, it was amazing how much we didn’t know but we survived to retire. We also are not missing any appendages.! Went though many close calls that I hope others don’t have to. I lived through 50 years of this in operations, safety, emergency response, sales training, analytical, engineering and learned a lot! Today I am no longer anxious to make money on anything I do. What a relief

I grew up making the highly toxic and reactive gases like arsine, phosphine and silane. Fortunately the arsine poisonings I was involved in were not fatal but were acute. In the early 1970’s gas detection systems were primitive. In addition, I was 21 and clueless as an emergency responder, I took a operator that had an arm swelled 2X and the doctors in the ER told me they knew nothing about arsine poisoning so take him home so I did. The next day I rushed him to a Poison Control Hospital and they saved him with whole blood transfusions and ICU. I also led the investigation of the largest arsine release in history, 65 lbs. Over 100 people went to the hospital for treatment. It was chaos and an interesting time. Just prior to that I led the investigation into a 160 lb hydrogen selenide cylinder rupture that severely  injured 8 victims with both respiratory and dermal affects. Decon was a severe problem.

Spent 35 years testing silane and still train many today on its safety. Almost severely injured a number of people in a demo in 2016 as well as killed my self despite 40+ years of experience.

I am excited on working on this blog which I hope will be of value. Topics such as

  1. What can happen if the cylinder is dropped without a cylinder cap protecting the valve? How about ton cylinders?
  2. The History of cylinder valve Restrictive Flow Orifices (RFO) since IBM patented one in 1983 in a pigtail connection. What changed from the beginning?
  3. Development of the DISS Connection Ultra High Integrity Outlet Connection that is the only Worldwide Standard for Gases
  4. Explosive Gas Mixtures, Almost 40 known incidents 1963- 2019 many fatal. Why did they happen?
  5. History of Cylinder Salvage Vessels (ERCV’s) and regulations. What didn’t work in the 1960-70’s?
  6. When is the  cylinder empty?
  7. Ngai rules of thumb in HazMat response
  8. Thermodynamically unstable gases such as acetylene, cyanogen, diborane,, germane, nitrous oxide, incidents and how did we control them in the cylinder? How did the gas industry forget the lessons learned?
  9. Causes of cylinder failure
    1. Overfill
    2. Stress Corrosion, CO or S
    3. Explosive mixture

I would welcome any input on this effort which I believe is critical to the safety of this and future generations.

The blog will contain articles on many diverse topics such as compressibility, adiabatic compression heat, leak rates, etc . Let me know if there is an area of interest you would like addressed.


Eugene Ngai

Chemically Speaking LLC



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