Contact Us

What was That Big Plume of Black Smoke Over Superior Yesterday?

Tony Hart

On my way home from work yesterday I noticed a plume of black smoke rising over Superior, and at first I thought it might be another angry ex-wife, but I quickly realized it was coming from the oil refinery. So what caused that big puff of black smoke? Find out after the jump.

Dave Podratz is the plant manager and he explained to me it is very similar to the hot water heater in your house, it, like the oil refinery, has a relief valve and when unwanted pressure builds up, the relief valve lets that pressure out.

With your hot water heater the pressure would be released in the form of water on your basement floor, at the oil refinery the pressure is released in gas vapors through the “closed flare stack”. You’ll often see a fire burning on the flare to burn off small amounts of gas vapors, which is normal.

Yesterday they had a larger than normal relief event which resulted in some black smoke being produced in a very short amount of time, the plant quickly reacted and added steam to the flame, which quickly made the smoke disappear and reduced the flame size.

Basically the safety system in place at the refinery worked as designed and at NO time was anyone at the plant or in the surrounding community ever in danger. Dave and his crew work very hard to operate a safe and clean operation and what happened yesterday is a rare occurrence.

 

 

More from MIX 108

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://mix108.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on TODAY'S BEST MIX quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Sign up for an account to comment, share your thoughts, and earn points to get great prizes.

Register on TODAY'S BEST MIX quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!