This post is a part of BioBiz’s Bio-CNG Perspectives.
BioBiz, a division of EAI, is a leading market intelligence & strategic consulting firm for the Indian bio-based sectors.
This blog post uses the terms bio-CNG and renewable natural gas (RNG) interchangeably.
Bio-CNG or bio-compressed natural gas, also known as sustainable natural gas or biomethane, is a biogas which has been upgraded to a quality similar to fossil natural gas and having a methane concentration of 90% or greater. As the gas is derived from natural and renewable sources, it is also termed renewable natural gas (RNG).
Renewable natural gas or RNG is similar to conventional natural gas in its properties and hence the cylinders used for packaging RNG is the same as that being used for packaging CNG or compressed natural gas. While RNG (and CNG) is considered to be far safer compared to LPG, yet care should be taken during storage and transportation of RNG cylinders to prevent any hazards. For safe storage and transportation of these cylinders, Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO) has framed Gas Cylinders Rules, 2016 and provided guidelines for the same.
PESO is a department formed by Government of India under Department for the Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade under Ministry of Commerce and Industry, to administer Explosives Act 1884, Explosive Substance Act, Petroleum Act 1934, Inflammable substance Act 1952 and Environment Protection Act 1986 to control import, export, transport, storage and usage of explosive materials, flammable materials, pressure vessels, cryogenic vessels, design and installation of all necessary and relevant infrastructure etc. PESO is a regulatory authority with autonomous status. The Department is headed by Chief Controller of Explosives and is headquartered at Nagpur.
The Gas Cylinders Rules were first published in 1940 after Govt. of India Notification No. M-1272 (1), dated 28th September, 1938 declaring any gas when contained in any metal container in a compressed or liquefied state to be an explosive within the meaning of Explosives Act, 1884. The above rules were replaced by the Gas Cylinders Rules, 1981, after a comprehensive review in the light of the development of the gas industry after independence.
Eighties & Nineties witnessed massive expansion in the gas and related industries triggered by economical liberalization and globalization, use of LPG as industrial and domestic fuel, introduction of CNG and LPG as environmental friendly automotive fuels, entry of new technologies, etc, which necessitated another round of review and framing of the Gas Cylinders Rules, 2004. In supersession of these Gas Cylinders Rules 2004, PESO had framed the new Gas Cylinders Rules in 2016.
This blog post provides details on these guidelines for transport of RNG cylinders.
1. Transport of cylinders by vehicles
- Cylinders filled with any compressed gas shall not be transported by a bicycle or any other two wheeled mechanically propelled vehicle.
- Cylinders shall be so transported as not to project in the horizontal plane beyond the sides or ends of the vehicle by which they are transported.
- There shall be no sharp projections on the inside of the vehicle.
- Cylinders shall be adequately secured to prevent their falling off the vehicle and being subjected to rough handling, excessive shocks or local stresses.
- Cylinders transported in vehicles shall be blocked or braced and be so secured to prevent movement, striking each other or falling down.
- Cylinders filled with any compressed gas shall not be transported along with any other article of a highly flammable or corrosive nature.
2. Restriction on transport
- Cylinders/ Cascades containing flammable gases shall not be transported along with the cylinders containing any other type of compressed gas.
- Cylinders containing toxic or corrosive gas shall not be transported along with food- stuffs. Thin wall cylinders shall not be transported in horizontal position. Cylinders not exceeding twenty five in numbers may be transported along with nontoxic non-flammable gases taking due precautions.
3. Loading and unloading for transport
- No lifting magnet shall be used in loading or unloading of cylinders filled with any compressed gas.
- Where any such operation is carried on by means of a crane or a fork-lift truck, a proper cradle with chains or wire rope slings shall be used.
4. Protection of valves during transport
- Every cylinder containing compressed gas shall, when transported, have its valve protected against damage in unless it is securely packed in a box or crate.
- Where the design of the cylinder does not provide for the valve lying wholly below the level of the body of the cylinder, a stout metal cap, metal cover or a protective metal ring or grill of a design approved by the Chief Controller shall be provided, the design being such that the cap or cover or ring or grill is nowhere in close proximity to any part of the valve or valve body.
- Where metal caps or metal covers are provided, to protect valves fitted to cylinder other than those containing highly toxic gases like Hydrogen Cyanide, Phosgene, Cyanogen, Cyanogen Chloride, it shall be provided with a vent of such size so as to prevent any gas pressure inside the cap or covers.
- Cylinders containing highly toxic gases like Hydrogen Cyanide, Phosgene, Cyanogen, Cyanogen Chloride gases, shall have their valves protected with gas-tight metal caps or covers.
- Nothing in sub-rules (1), (2) and (3) shall apply to cylinders containing oxygen or nitrous oxide for medical purpose having water capacity not exceeding 5 litres.
5. Leaky cylinders
- No person shall tender or transport any leaky cylinder.
- Any cylinder containing a flammable or toxic gas, which develops a leak during transport, shall promptly be removed to an isolated open place away from any source of ignition and the person responsible for transportation shall immediately contact the filler or the consignor as the case may be, for necessary advice.
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