Damage to Thermal Reaction Chambers
The accident consisted in damages that occurred to the internal refractory lining of a Thermal Reaction Chamber. The drying process and subsequent cooling of the internal lining was carried out too rapidly and it became detached and collapsed.
This Chamber operates within the Sulphate Recovery Unit, which receives the refinery gases, thus initiating the sulphate recovery process. The contaminated gases are partially burned in the Thermal Reaction Chamber, reaching temperatures of around 1,250 ºC. Its correct operation guarantees that the process is carried out efficiently, and avoids shutdowns in the refining processes.
The aforementioned reaction chamber is constructed of steel and is lined internally with refractory material for the high temperature required for the recovery of sulphates. Additionally, it has a "ring of fire", which restricts the flow of combustion gases and establishes a temperature differential within.