Safe handling guidance available
TFE Safety Task Force: Guide for Safe Handling of Tetrafluoroethylene.
Industry has been working for several decades to ensure Tetrafluoroethylene (TFE) is handled safely, with PlasticsEurope establishing the TFE Safety Task Force in 2003 to share relevant information and identifying gaps in know-how and investigating these. In 2017, the TFE Safety Task Force published its ‘Guide for the Safe Handling of Tetrafluoroethylene’ to help industry take the necessary measures to ensure TFE is handled safely. The Guide details different approaches to reduce the likelihood and impact of any potential accidents. The TFE Safety Task Force is available to answer any questions and is also open for new members to join. Please reach out to TFE@plasticseurope.org to learn more.
About Tetrafluoroethylene (TFE).
Tetrafluoroethylene (TFE) is a colourless, odourless gas and its main industrial application is the production of fluoropolymer resins, such as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).
Given the wide range of uses of fluoropolymers which their unique combination of properties allow, it is vital to ensure safe usage of TFE. TFE is an extremely flammable and chemically unstable gas. Even in the absence of oxygen, it can explosively decompose and unfortunately there have been industrial accidents from the un-wanted ignition of TFE.
TFE Safety publications
· Ferrero, F., Beckmann-Kluge, M., Spoormaker, T. and Schröder, V., “On the Minimum Ignition Temperature for the explosive Decomposition of Tetrafluoroethylene on hot walls: Experiments and calculations,” Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 25, Issue 2, March 2012, Pages 293–301.
· Ferrero, F., Zeps, R., Beckmann-Kluge, M., Schröder, V. and Spoormaker, T., “Analysis of the self-heating process of tetrafluoroethylene in a 100-dm3-reactor,” Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 25, Issue 6, November 2012, Pages 1010–1017.
· Ferrero, F., Meyer, R., Kluge, M., Schröder, V. and Spoormaker, T., “Self-ignition of Tetrafluoroethylene Induced by Rapid Valve Opening in Small Diameter Pipes,” Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 26, 177-185, 2013.
· Ferrero, F., Meyer, R., Kluge, M., Schröder, V. and Spoormaker, T., “Study of the spontaneous ignition of stoichiometric tetrafluoroethylene–air mixtures at elevated pressures,” Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 26, Issue 4, July 2013, Pages 759-765.
· Kluge, M., Kreißig, M., Liebner, C. and Spoormaker, T., “Identifying Hazardous Conditions for Rapid Compression Scenarios of Chemically Unstable Gases in Industrial Scaled Pipes,” Chemical Engineering Transactions, 48, 2016, Pages 607 – 612.
· Liebner, C. and Shenton, M.J., “Identifying hazardous conditions for compression heat igniting the chemically unstable gas Tetrafluoroethylene in industrial scale,” Chemical Engineering Transactions, 77, 2019, Pages 151-156.
· Liebner, C., Schröder, V. and Shenton, M.J., “Safety Related Properties of Tetrafluoroethylene Research on the Explosive Decomposition on an Industrial Scale,” Proceedings of 13th ISHPMIE, November 2020, Pages 506-513.
A free electronic copy of the TFE Safety guide is available from PlasticsEurope; PlasticsEurope TFE Safety Task Force can be contacted at TFE@plasticseurope.org.