Electrostatic Properties of Gases and Mists

Why Do We Need to Worry about Static Electricity?

Why Do We Need to Worry about Static Electricity?

In this lesson, you will learn more about how static electricity is formed and why you must be aware of static electricity risks when handling flammable fluids.

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How Does Different Material Behave in Terms of Static Electricity?

How Does Different Material Behave in Terms of Static Electricity?

Conductivity differs between different materials. To know how to handle your equipment onboard, you will learn more about the classification of materials in this lesson.

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What Are the Sources of Static Electricity Onboard?

What Are the Sources of Static Electricity Onboard?

In this lesson, you will learn more about static accumulators and the importance of interting when handling flammable fluids.

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What Are the Hazards Posed by Static Electricity Onboard?

What Are the Hazards Posed by Static Electricity Onboard?

In this lesson, you will learn more about what are the hazards caused by static electricity.

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What Precautions Can Be Implemented to Mitigate the Risks Posed By Static Electricity?

What Precautions Can Be Implemented to Mitigate the Risks Posed By Static Electricity?

What can you do to minimize the risks of static electricity? In this lesson, you will learn more about precautions to prevent incidents that electrostatic discharges may cause.

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Step 2 of 31 minute read

Electrostatic Properties of Gases and Mists

Under normal conditions, gases are highly insulating and this has important implications with respect to mists and particulate suspensions in air and other gases. Charged mists are formed during the ejection of liquid from a nozzle, for example:

  • Petroleum products entering an empty tank at high velocity.
  • Wet steam condensing.
  • Water from tank washing machines.
  • Crude oil during crude oil washing.

Although the liquid, for example, water, may have very high conductivity, the relaxation of the charge on the droplets is hindered by the insulating properties of the surrounding gas. Fine particles present in inert flue gas, or created during discharge of pressurised liquid carbon dioxide, are frequently charged.

The gradual charge relaxation, which does occur, is the result of the settling of the particles or droplets and, if the field strength is high, of corona discharge at sharp protrusions. Under certain circumstances, discharges with sufficient energy to ignite hydrocarbon gas/air mixtures can occur.