Ferroalloys are alloys of iron with other elements like chromium, manganese, silicon, tungsten, molybdenum, or vanadium. Ferromanganese, Silicon-manganese, and Ferrochrome are some of the other common Ferroalloys. These are supplied in several shapes and form factors- from billets and ingots to powders, fillers, and allied reinforcements. However, Ferroalloys transportation is very delicate in terms of environmental impacts, because of the toxic gases and dust that are emitted such as arsenic and phosphine during the storage and transportation process. Ferroalloys also are very sensitive to humidity and they can have flammable or explosive reactions.
Atmospheric Pollution :
Ferroalloys can emit gases such as carbon and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere. Here are some of the actions necessary to prevent these emissions:
• Storage and transportation in closed buildings and vehicles.
• Installing filters that remove the fumes from the casting process as well as crushing and screening process before dispatching Ferroalloys.
• Using proper packaging to prevent dust and pollution while loading the vehicles.
In general, Ferroalloys should be stored and transported carefully at each stage to minimize environmental impact using the best methods and techniques.
Risk Of Poisoning During Ferrosilicon Transportation :
Ferrosilicon emits phosphine (PH3) and arsenic (AsH3) when it is exposed to humidity, two highly toxic gases that have caused the death of several people during shipping.
There are four such cases reported with 5 deaths. Their symptoms included nausea, vomiting, thirst, and drowsiness, which were initially confused with seasickness. Bad smell, like the smell of onion or carbide, should arouse suspicion. The autopsy findings on the dead bodies indicated that dark stains, dark blood, parenchymatous degeneration of the liver, heart, and kidneys, pulmonary edema, and slight jaundice were observed on the subjects. Chemical analysis often shows this amount of arsenic to be non-lethal, while it is difficult to prove because phosphine is volatile.
It is recommended to carry Ferrosilicon on board while transporting it by ship instead of loading it in high humidity warehouses to avoid similar hazardous problems.