Dust, oxygen and ignition source is explosive combination


Calvin Parnell, Texas A&M Regents Professor and Cotton Chair in the biological and agricultural engineering department and director of the Center for Agricultural Air Quality Engineering and Science (CAAQES) at College Station, provided a graphic demonstration of what happens during a grain bin explosion at the recent Coastal Bend Grain Storage and handlers Safety conference in Sinton, Texas.

Using corn starch as a stand-in for grain bin dust, a small ignition device, an enclosed chamber and an oxygen supply, Parnell showed how quickly a “deflagration” can occur under the right circumstances.

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