As a result of both the potential hazards of the product and regulations, one basic and effective fire control procedure for small-volume aluminium alkyls fires is to cut off contact with air by using a substance such as Vermiculite and/or a dry chemical fire-extinguishing agent. However, this process can be quite messy, and can lead to a long cleanup and recovery time after a fire.
Albemarle Corporation, one of our parent companies and the world's largest merchant aluminium alkyls manufacturer and marketer, has found an effective alternative to messy dry fire control methods currently in use. For several years now, Albemarle has been using water fog to control aluminium alkyl fire in their Pasadena, Texas plant in the United States.
In Albemarle's system, aluminium alkyls reacted with water fog without explosion, and the fire was extinguished quickly. The water fog system is also very effective at cooling down the surrounding area to minimize damage to the facility and facilitate quicker recovery from fire.
Based on the results in their own plant and in their customers' aluminium alkyl handling plants, Albemarle has equipped water fog extinguishing nozzles at all their plants and many customers' aluminium alkyl handling plants, as well.
As a result of Albemarle's work with water fog, the Tokyo Fire Fighting Authority (Tokyo, Japan) also experimented with water fog as an extinguisher for aluminium alkyls fires on January 31, 2003 at their fire fighting school in Tokyo. Nippon aluminium Alkyls (NAA) cooperated with the fire authority by supplying aluminium alkyls, and by requesting to test the portable water fog nozzle we helped develop. (Please see the photograph of the experiment for reference.)
The experiment was a success, both in the eyes of the fire authority and NAA. The water fog system works well. However, extensive knowledge of the system, its installation, and maintenance is necessary for proper installation. Albemarle Corporation has such extensive knowledge and is happy to work with you if you have interest in this system.(*)
For detailed results of the fire authority experiment, please contact the Tokyo Fire Fighting Authority (Tokyo, Japan). For more information on the water fog system, equipment, installation and maintenance, contact Albemarle Corporation or Nippon aluminium Alkyls.
(*) You are required to follow local fire fighting regulations for your location. Some countries may prohibit use of water fog systems. Please consult with the local fire-fighting agency in your country for applicable regulations.