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State discloses likely cause of Eastman explosion

HANK HAYES, Kingsport Times News • Apr 13, 2018 at 9:21 AM

KINGSPORT — A valve blockage due to slurry or debris intrusion set off a chain of events that triggered the Oct. 4, 2017 explosion at Eastman’s coal gasification facility, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has determined.

The explosion caused no fatalities or serious injuries, but did cause a number of residents around the plant to shelter in place for about five hours.

That coal gasification facility, which has since restarted operations, consists of a series of processes designed to produce mixtures of carbon monoxide and hydrogen from coal and to purify the gas stream for making methanol and acetic anhydride. TDEC noted that in the gasifier process, coal slurry is mixed with pure oxygen and heated under pressure to produce a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen.

More about the report from our partners at the Kingsport Times News.

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