Brown smoke rose over Rivne Azot plant

Accident at Rivneazot: brown smoke rose over the plant.

According to the official report, a pipeline was depressurized in the nitric acid production section of the plant, which resulted in a single emission of nitrous gases.

Photos and videos of brown smoke rising over the plant were posted on social media.

Dmytro Melnyk, Spokesman for the Rivne Region State Emergency Service, told Rivne Vechirnie  that, according to a dispatcher, there was an emergency shutdown in the nitric acid section.

“There were no fires or explosions.The environmental inspectorate was notified to take air samples.”

Meanwhile, experts warned of a threat of acid rain caused by the accident.

Oksana Mysina, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry and Physics at the National University of Water and Environmental Engineering, commented on the red cloud over Rivneazot on Suspilny  channel.

“From what I can see in the photo, these orange gases, nitrous gases, are NO2. They are also called “fox tail.” It is tetravalent nitric oxide. Nitric acid decomposes into this gas and it can then, accordingly, interact with water and fall out as acid rain,” Mysina explained.

She noted that acid rain can affect vegetation: grass and leaves may turn yellow. And it takes a high concentration of gases to affect the human body.

“If there is a high concentration of nitric acid, it has a specific smell. I do not think that exposure to a low concentration is very harmful, but it is better to take care and stay at home,” she noted.

In turn, agricultural chemist, candidate of agricultural sciences Serhiy Adamenko also explained to Suspilny that the main risk from such an accident is hazardous acid rains.

“It is difficult to assess the accident consequences, because we do not know its scale. However, nitrous gases are generally quite harmful. They can also cause burns to plants when nitric acid oxidizes. Getting on the soil in large doses, they promote the accumulation of nitrates in plant products. Their large amount may also be carcinogenic to humans,” Adamenko added.

According to the State Service for Emergency Situations, the concentration of gas in the air formed as a result of a leak at the Rivneazot mineral fertilizer plant on Tuesday is five times lower than the level dangerous for humans,  and there is no threat to the environment and population.

 “The enterprise is operating in normal mode,” the press service noted.

Private Joint-Stock Company RivneAzot is one of the largest chemical enterprises in Western Ukraine. The company produces mineral nitrogen fertilizers, industrial oxygen, liquid and solid carbon dioxide.




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