Bangladesh needs rules on odorized LPG

The explosion in Moghbazar at a mosque in Narayanganj and numerous fires and explosions at homes and other establishments have raised concerns about the use of different gases. Usually, other countries have regulations on the use of odorants to identify leaks in pipes or cylinders. Bangladesh does not have such a rule on the odorization of gases.

In Bangladesh, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) was introduced as a cooking fuel in September 1978 with the production of approximately 16,000 tonnes of gas by Eastern Refinery Ltd. (ERL). ERL transferred it to LP Gas Limited for bottling and it was then passed on to the three state-owned petroleum marketing companies for distribution. Later, the government adopted the 1996 National Energy Policy authorizing the private sector to import, store, bottle and distribute liquefied natural gas (LNG). Currently, there are around 25 private sector companies with a total supply capacity of two million tonnes of LPG against local demand of around one million tonnes per year. The government has also decided to promote the use of LNG as autogas. The policy facilitates the establishment of an automatic gas refueling station, the establishment and operation of a conversion workshop adopted in 2016 by the Energy and Mineral Resources Division of the Ministry of Energy and Energy.

LPG consumption increased by 50,000 tonnes in 2008, the amount of LPG consumed in the country was 1.02 million tonnes in 2020, and is expected to reach 2 million tonnes in 2030. So far, 85 percent LPG is consumed for domestic use. use; the total number of households using LPG is around 3.8 million. However, the consumption of LPG per capita is the lowest among countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

LPG forms a flammable mixture with air at concentrations of 2 to 10%. It may therefore present a risk of fire and explosion if stored or used improperly. LPG itself is odorless and explosive, which is a fatal combination. It can leak and build up in any home, office, or factory and ignite when someone walks into the area and flips a switch. The leak cannot be detected due to the lack of odor. This has led different countries to adopt new regulations that require gas suppliers to odorize LPG. These laws stipulate that any leak must be easily detectable when the gas concentration reaches 1/5 of the lower explosive limit. In addition, leaks should be detectable by anyone with a normal sense of smell. The odorant is typically a mixture of various organosulfur or unsulfur compounds. For many years, a class of organosulfur compounds known as mercaptans and some unsulfur compounds have become the standard chemicals for odorizing gases.

In many countries, LPG is also distributed through gas pipelines for domestic, commercial and industrial consumption, as is the Titas gas distribution system in Bangladesh. Important points to consider are pipelines requiring odorization, detectable limits of gas odor, odors, and odor considerations, and monitoring a network of pipelines to ensure that the odorization program meets requirements. regulatory requirements.

Bangladesh can include a provision for odorizing LPG by amending relevant laws and making it mandatory to put in place an odor injection system as early as possible to ensure it has a distinctive odor. Thus, gas-related accidents can be avoided.

THE WRITER IS A LEGAL ECONOMIST.

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About Lucille Thompson

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