In the early morning of November 4, a petrochemical product carrier in Quanzhou Ferry Terminal in Fujian leaked 6.97 tons of carbon nine products leaked into the sea, causing water pollution, which also caused a lot of concern. Many local residents sought help on social platforms.
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What is carbon nine?
In petrochemicals, “carbon nine” is a series of hydrocarbons with a carbon content of about 9 obtained during petroleum refining. They have similar boiling points and are difficult to separate further, so they are often mixed together.
The most important use of petroleum is to refine gasoline and diesel. In general, the carbon content of gasoline is between 5-8, while the carbon content of diesel is 10-12, so carbon is actually It is a substance whose boiling point is sandwiched between gasoline and diesel. If it is added to gasoline, it is easy to produce carbon deposits if it is not burnt enough. If it is added to diesel oil, there will be insufficient power, so its use is relatively awkward. Although some fuel engines can use carbon nine, they are far less popular than gasoline and diesel engines, so they only look for other uses.
However, carbon nine has an important part in processing: reforming. The carbon nine that has just been cracked out of petroleum is mainly aliphatic hydrocarbons, that is, some substances that do not have a benzene ring. After reforming, these aliphatic hydrocarbons undergo an aromatization reaction, thereby obtaining a large amount of aromatic hydrocarbon substances, including cumene, methyl ethylbenzene, trimethylbenzene and the like.
In other words, there are actually two kinds of carbon nine, one is cracking carbon nine, the other is reforming carbon nine. The composition of the two types of substances is very different, and the harm to the environment is also different. The current public report does not have a clear conclusion, but what kind of leak is the key to this pollution problem.
If it is cracking carbon nine, then the long-term health risk is not big, and the economic loss is very big.
Judging from the current state, the carbon nine in this leak is more likely to crack carbon. It is a raw material that has not undergone aromatization reforming, and its state and odor are very similar to gasoline.
In the event of a leak, like gasoline or diesel, the less dense cracked carbon nine will quickly spread over the surface, causing great trouble for cleaning. In the incident, there are many fisheries contracted by farmers. Therefore, these carbon nines are easy to cause hypoxia in aquatic products, leading to death and great economic losses.
The total amount of the leak is not large. China News Network reported that “Zhuanggang District has dispatched more than 100 ships and more than 600 personnel, and mobilized nearly 600 bags of linoleum for adsorption recovery. The cleanup of the carbon nine leaked sea area has been basically completed.” It is possible to recover the leaked carbon nine. But this can only be counted as "basic" completion, leaving a small amount of residual carbon nine without a good treatment, and can only wait for natural degradation. Therefore, it will take some time to wait until the sequela of this matter has completely disappeared.
First of all, the boiling point of carbon nine is only slightly higher than that of gasoline, and the volatility is relatively large. In the process of cleaning, the carbon nine stored in the horns is difficult to be removed, and they only rely on volatilization and escape, resulting in air pollution. It will also be a continuous process, and the surrounding residents may smell a distinct smell for a week.
Secondly, carbon nine is a good solvent, and some floats, foams and even fishing nets used by fishermen are made of organic matter. After soaking, these equipments will corrode, and by-products obtained after corrosion may also be marine. create pollution.
The final key point is the impact on seafood. The toxicity of cracking carbon nine is relatively small, and there is no known cancer risk, but it is still a pollutant. Whether it is fish or shrimp or crab, after the pollution, it will absorb some toxic and harmful ingredients. These substances are not substances that are generally monitored by aquaculture. In other words, if there is no emergency plan, they may pass the test smoothly and flow into the table. Therefore, how to monitor the quality of aquatic products in contaminated areas will be the next most important problem for local authorities. If public and transparent monitoring is not available, it will inevitably involve a wider range of seafood.
If it is to re-carbonize, the trouble is much more.
The aromatic hydrocarbons in the reformed carbon nine are higher, their odor is more special, and there is an unpleasant aroma, which is significantly different from gasoline.
Aromatic hydrocarbons are relatively more active and more toxic. For example, cumene, which is a typical carbonarene, is more complex than aliphatic hydrocarbons. In the chemical industry, cumene is the main raw material for the production of acetone and phenol, because it easily reacts with hydrogen peroxide and then breaks into free radicals. In fact, in the presence of light, most aromatic hydrocarbons are prone to some free radical reactions, and the by-products formed are extremely complex. In an environment rich in chlorine such as the ocean, the inevitable result is that Some chlorine-containing aromatic hydrocarbons. Many people smell the dioxin, it is not difficult to form in nature. With benzene ring and chlorine, plus a little sunshine or temperature, it is only a matter of time to get dioxin.
Therefore, if the main cause of the pollution is the reforming of aromatics, then for the local residents, it will face more severe consequences, and the difficulty of handling will increase dramatically. In addition to the various risks of cracking carbon nine mentioned above, it is also necessary to face longer-term pollution.
The contaminated area is mainly not drinking water, so the problem is concentrated on aquatic products. If after final verification, the pollutants are only cracked carbon nine, then the surrounding residents do not have to be too alarmed. After a few days, the life is still the same, and the loss of aquaculture can be claimed according to law. However, if the raw material is carbon monoxide, then the relevant local authorities or agencies should be required to test the water quality, especially if the chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons are exceeded. If there is no continuous follow-up inspection and effective protection and economic compensation, it may lead to a real personal safety crisis.
Finally, it should be pointed out that when refining raw materials are transported, leakage is a high-incidence accident. In addition to the corrosive nature of the oil itself, it is easy to dissolve the seal at the joint (even if the Teflon gasket is corrosion-resistant between the flanges, it will swell under long-term immersion of hydrocarbons and cause mechanical deterioration. The bigger hidden danger lies in the indifference of practitioners to production responsibility. Therefore, the root cause of this incident lies in man-made disasters, which deserves vigilance.