VIDEO: Lake Charles Grain Elevator Explodes on Hwy 397
Trucker Robert LeDoux might be changing his pants after this incident at a grain elevator exploded on 397 earlier today. LeDoux was at the elevator waiting to get unloaded. As grain is moved around, dust is created. That dust being suspended in the air can be highly volatile.
The flammability of grain dust is one part of what is called the "Dust Explosion Pentagon". According to Knobelsdorff Enterprises, this "pentagon" is all of the elements needed to cause a grain dust explosion.
There are five conditions to meet to have a dust explosion, they are oxygen, heat, fuel, dispersion, and confinement. These five factors make up what is known as the Dust Explosion Pentagon.
The fuel is self-explanatory, it's the dust in the air from moving the grain around. The heat comes from static electricity, hot machinery, or a spark from a metal piece moving around. As the grain is moved around for an extended period of time in dryer weather, the dust doesn't get to settle and thus becomes suspended in the air in a cloud. That dust gets concentrated enough in a particular area, all it needs is a simple spark to set it off, and boom. The first explosion is dangerous enough, but then that explosion can dislodge more dust in the area and set off a chain reaction igniting more dust that is stirred up from the shock of the initial explosion.
It doesn't take much "dust" in the air to become dangerous. The "minimum explosion concentration" is the measure of the number of particles in the air versus the area it is occupying. It can take as little as .0002 inches inside of a 2-foot space to become flammable. A piece of paper is .004 inches.
KPLC reports that no injuries were reported by the Sheriff's office.
LOOK: The top holiday toys from the year you were born