As a founding member of the “Together for Sustainability” initiative, Evonik is committed to the highest standards of product safety in all areas of the value chain. Special requirements, in particular for transport safety, apply to the activated metal catalysts manufactured by Evonik. Because of their pyrophoric properties, activated metal catalysts can be transported only as an aqueous suspension. An additional challenge is the hydrogen gas, which is continuously released from the catalyst suspension. Hydrogen is highly flammable and can cause explosions in the presence of oxygen, when an ignition source is present. To prevent an increase in pressure from the released hydrogen, the transportation drums are equipped with a pressure relief valve to allow the hydrogen gas to escape safely. However, when the drums are shipped long distances the hydrogen which is slowly being released from the drums can begin to accumulate in the container. The resulting mixture of hydrogen and oxygen has a very low minimum ignition energy and requires a low ignition energy and therefore represents a major security risk potential hazard. Just the spark generation that could occur when opening the container door could lead to an explosion.
In the past, this risk was prevented by using special ventilated sea containers. These containers are provided by shipping companies only to a very limited extent or are already retired. Thus a container has been specifically developed for Evonik. This new type of “ventilated container” allows for sufficient air exchange directing the hydrogen gas safely outside. These containers developed by Evonik can now be used for the transport of Evonik’s activated metal catalysts. They define the highest safety standards in the industry. In addition to the increased safety standards Evonik can ensure on-time delivery by using only shipper owned containers which are stored on Evonik’s production sites and thus are available for transportation at any time.