10, June, 2021, Taiwan, a conveyor belt in a coal power plant caught on fire and burned down.

10, June, 2021, Taiwan, a conveyor belt in a coal power plant caught on fire and burned down.

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I'm currently working with some welders under a conveyer belt structure just like this one. It's about 40 meters up and the use a gouger to cut the ibeams we are replacing off. It shoots sparks into the area where the coal is. They've started fires so many times I've had to stop them so we can water down the area. This conveyer leads to the stockpile of coal in a distance so it is very important the flames are stopped by presoaking multiple times a day. I'm greatful to have stumbled on this video, I'm most definitely going to show these welders this so they can quit trying to rush everything.


That is unbelievably sloppy. Just note with coal that putting it out isn’t the end of it. It’s incredibly good at holding heat so you want to hang around for a good while to make sure it doesn’t go up later.


Yeah for sure, they soak everything good in the morning then right before we leave or see fit. Idc I stop them as soon as I feel fit. And I'm not even the safety guy.


On work sites, everyone should be the safety guy. You're doing good work


I worked for a contractor that did the odd maintenance job here and there. Amongst said jobs were fixing some sheds inside a relatively large fuel reserve area (dug-down fuel tanks holding around 3 million liters of gasoline), another job was replacing all the windows of a large airplane-hangar inside the area of a commercial airport. In both instances we had to notify a security personnel about if we were about to use a grinder/torch, so that they could give us the go ahead or not, as well as having some random guy following us with a fire extinguisher... It didn't really bother us but basically the reasons for the precautions boiled down to the fact that a small spark could cost many... maaaany lifes. Not to mention because the cost behind a preventable accident would be astronomical. Oh and also, if we didn't comply, the consequences were simple and immediate, we'd have to fuck the fuck off the area and lose the contract as well as any other potential future contracts with those companies (not sure about legal consequences but I'm sure there would have been some). So yeah, any way you look at it, following these safety standards are worth it.


Glad that something good can come out of this.


I know, we don't need anything like this at all.


They didn’t include cleaning the surrounding area thoroughly and placing fire blankets between the work and any remaining flammables, including the rubber belt itself on the hot work permit?


That's crazy


Worked at a mine in the US (not coal) with miles of conveyor belts both underground and in surface and it was standard practice.


Yeah the material is abundant under the belts here


It's acting as if there was some sort of fuel around.


What idiots would use the flammable coal anyway


They shoulda cleaned it first


Clean Coal is the best coal. We'll all be using it on our cars before long.


Ah yes, Taiwan’s “clean coal” alternatives to “conventional dirty coal”


Dr. Nick probably


It’s burning like coal!


And the global semi conductor shortage worsens


For the second time in two days.


What happened first?


Polysilicon plant in China [blew up.](https://www.pv-magazine.com/2021/06/09/silicon-fab-explosion-in-xinjiang-threatens-further-poly-shortage/)


I was hoping for a massive explosion video on that link


Inflammable means flamabble? What a country!






Thank God we have a quack!


They rollin it..


If it’s a conveyor, it was likely rubber. Rubber can catch fire fast. I work at a steel shredder that uses rubber conveyors so I know a little but about them.


It’s usually coal dust that ignites first, that ignites the coal on the belt and then the actual belt.


Or coal.


Or coal and rubber…. Either way someone is getting their ass chewed out after this


Well that would be the conveyor belt, Ans I think he’ll be out on sick leave for awhile.


Sure went up a level when it got more oxygen!


Cursed dinosaurs!


Coal dust maybe?


It's actually quite easy to have a fire start on a belt conveyor. As the belt runs down the length of the conveyor, it is assisted by small rollers along the walls that help keep the belt raised up on the sides of the conveyor. This helps to keep the product riding along a belt that sort of sags in the middle of the belt. Think high along the sides, and lower in the middle of the belt. The fire can be caused by a number of different things, such as: high bearing temps on the ends, the drum rollers being misaligned, which causes the belt to run crooked (causes more friction on the belt), product that has fallen off the belt along the sides building up and being constantly rubbed by the passing belt, or product built up underneath the bottom portion of the belt just before the drums possibly caused by the flippers at the drum not throwing product back up on top of the belt as it goes around the drum. This is sad to see because there will be a pretty high cost to replace the structural supports and the conveyor itself. Thankfully, it looked like nobody was hurt.


doesn't there also need to be a dust suppression spray system?


It depends on what kind of coal you are using. Some coal comes out of the mine like baby powder and other kinds are big rocks that need to be crushed.


I work with ships, and at least at the coal pier they have a spray system. I always see them running. Dunno if that applies to power plants but i'd assume so


They typically only spray water for dust suppression at transfer points. Coal laying flat on a belt does not create much dust.


At least in the US, there is usually an automatically actuated water deluge fire suppression system.


I’ve worked with a lot of conveyer belts and static can be a huge problem as well. You’ll see tiny copper tinsel on some just to keep the product and the conveyer belt at the same potential.


Copper tinsel? Like fine little bits of copper added to the product? Does that get removed at the other end or just shipped off/burned when the coal is burned? I'm so fascinated!


Like a tinsel you’d put on your Xmas tree, it usually is wrapped around a grounded piece of metal then just hangs down and brushes across the moving conveyer so any static is discharged to ground.


Thank you for answering! That makes more sense than what I was imagining.


I always used carbon impregnated neoprene on stuff like that. Static can cause a lot of dangerous problems.


Very true. For another example, see the disaster at Imperial Sugar: https://youtu.be/Jg7mLSG-Yws


Oh, I have seen that video before as the example for dust explosions. Super dangerous. The second explosion is usually the worst one because the first explosion shakes dust into the air causing a potential combustible cloud. When the second explosion ignites that combustible cloud, the explosion is much more intense than the first. Thanks for sharing your example. That is a very good example for people to know about.


Good points all around. When I worked at a coal power plant one of the most likely sources for a fire like this was a non-crushable component (like bolts) in the coal that went through the crusher. Would come out as a hot nugget and smolder on the coal bed. There were precautions in place to prevent the metal pieces from entering the crusher, as well as fire protection on the belts, but nothing is perfect. Sometimes the bolt came from within the crusher...


Thanks! Yeah, metals getting through and heating up would definitely be a major problem. I work in a Canola seed crushing plant and we have magnets at key points to help take foreign metals out of the process. Metals like stainless steel though prove to be a big problem because they are not magnetic. Every once in a while a stainless steel bolt will end up in a pellet mill, which looks really cool upon inspection, but is actually very hard on equipment. Thanks very much for sharing!


This is an especially big problem in coal mining, where the belt fire is underground in a confined space, presenting a serious challenge for firefighters. It's heavily studied by the Office for Mine Safety and Health, within NIOSH.


Yea, it's why there are different trip procedures for high CO levels. With high levels of gasses like carbon monoxide all belts will stop. However high levels of CO indicate a belt fire, so you only want to drop sequence to the inbye belts. That way no more coal is added and the belt on fire doesn't just stop and burn.


iirc isn't there like a huge underground fire still ongoing for the last like 10 years in the Midwest? I remember reading a story about it a while back. But essentially the story said that the fire had spread too far into too many veins and they couldn't fight the fire so they evacuated the mines and sealed the shut and shut down the local town


What’s your line of work, out of interest?


I bet it conveys a sense of pride and satisfaction.


I'm sure he's proud to put on that belt every day


I belt it does, too.


I am a power engineer that works in a Canola crushing plant. I used to be a lead operator in our crushing plant, but now I work in our Biodiesel plant. Did you know that you can make Biodiesel from canola or oil seeds? Very cool process!


Probably chemical or mechanical engineering (my ChemE undergrad is where I learned about this)


Yeah I’m currently a ChemE undergrad, thought this was interesting.


I used to work at a grain elevator. One guy had the job 8 hours a day 5 days a week to grease bearings.


Grain elevators are cool! I believe that. We have some pretty stringent lube lists to complete each day, shift, or timed occurrence. Anyone who has seen a heated bearing in a dusty environment knows that is bad news and needs to get fixed ASAP.


Wow, TIL. Thanks for the fact


You are very welcome. I'm happy I can contribute to helping people learn. I love teaching people new things! :)


For my time zone this happened tomorrow


You're living in the past, man.


Is there anything that you want un done from yesterday


If I have to relive it? No.


No. I fix it for you for the low price of 111.11


That's a lotta caps.


His comment had 2 capitals yours irks me


yeah well my comment has taipei, ottawa, brasilia, london, canberra, lusaka, and maputo


So I assume your comment has all the capitols as well?


He’s streets behind


Dang Taiwanese time travelers....


You gotta warn them dude!


Please provide tomorrows lottery numbers as well!


We are in a time loop. You'll never get to spend the winnings .


Should’ve specified it’s local time.


American continent-dwellers could just accept they're way behind the rest of the world.


Yes we are, in many ways more than time.


I could tell.




Look at that nice clean coal


Is that you Sco Mo?


Green coal Once the grass grows back


Scumo, more likely...


"That's a clean burning hell, I'll tell you hwat."




It's funny to look at that bellowing smoke, and think "that's what the coal powerplant would be burning on a normal day. It's just happening outside of the boiler this time". So, for the environment, in terms of CO2 emissions, this massive fire is probably a *net positive*, since it will result in a days- or months-long shutdown of a plant that burns this stuff in its normal operation. (Although soot, ashes and sulfur dioxides aren't being captured when it burns like this.)


Coal burns alittle lighter than that, I'm not saying its cleaner but the darker smoke is most likely from the thick rubber conveyor belt burning. As a side note I work at a coal mine and thanks to increased natural gas prices we just upped production 100k+ tons a month. Edit. I'm not saying coal is clean or good, just stating what I know.


Lots of power plants have multiple conveyor belts, so they can keep running when one fails. So the fire probably just dumped lots of unfiltered smoke into the sky and nothing else.


Ah. Well, that sucks then.


YEs but you are assuming the demand is non existent. If this coal plants shuts down, other plants would work for longer periods/ burn more coal to generate the power not being supplied by this plant. Unless they could somehow make new plants using renewables within months. In no way is this a net positive for the enviroment.


Your last sentence vs the rest of your comment.. hmmm


It's not contradictory - my understanding is that the vast majority of plants have mitigations for particulate (fly ash), sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides, but carbon capture is still pretty uncommon. I've done a few quick searches for percentages of plants with the various types of emissions controls to back that up, but if the numbers are readily available I'm not seeing them.


So Taiwan used to be on nuclear power for a while, but then some politicians ran a campaign on how unsafe that was, managed to scare the hell out of the general public, and got them switched back to coal. Ever since then, the air quality has significantly gone down, the power plant often can't provide enough power, which results in many rolling outages and brown outs for power use rationing. And now this happens... good luck to them...


Yeah, but the politicians got handsomely paid by the coal companies, so it's all good.


Additional facts for those who haven’t been following Taiwan news: they’ve already had two power shortages earlier this year.


Sounds like California.


And Germany


"There is coal under our Lebenraum lmao." - some Fritz


difference here is that California is now overproducing power during the day due to the metric fuckton of solar they've installed in the past decade. If they can build storage to capture that overproduction rather than exporting it out of state, they'll be completely carbon neutral by 2025.


wasn't that in the aftermath of the fukushima disaster?


"Welp. Time to update the sign..."




Guys I'm scared of nuclear let's keep playing with the fire rocks


underrated comment


I've seen this happen once before at an old coal-fired plant I worked at. In that case we were burning PRB (powder river basin) coal, which is notorious for being self-combusting when left in contact with air. The plant got ~90% of its fuel via rail, and utilized [car dumpers like this one](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbJl_Astx_w) to load the fuel onto a belt below ground. As you can imagine, some fuel makes its way under the belt over time, and that began to smolder. Eventually the fire made its way into the fuel being loaded, and was rolled the full half mile from the dumper house to the stacker house, lighting the whole belt up. Luckily we didn't have the structure fail like these guys did.


Taiwan seems to be having a lot of accidents lately.


I mean there’re always accidents happening, it’s just a matter of whether they’re being recorded and posted online.


That's a nice country you got there.


PROVINCE. You mean *province*, not country. -- John Cena


*Shame if something were to happen to it.*


*insert naked Putin riding a teddy bear with two LMGs*




Just in case anybody needed to know this, 66% of the world's semiconductors are manufactured on the island of Taiwan.




no, china controls 95% of the _active mining operations_ that produce the needed rare-earth mats. They can be found in abundance in places like the Atacama, Kalahari, saharah, and US southwest. It's only been the chinese willing to absolutely rape the land for these recourses though since the process of refining most of it is extremely toxic, dangerous and environmentally destructive.


China is plundering it. But if everybody stopped buying new cellphones every year, then that probably wouldn't happen. We love to blame everything on China, like how they make cheap shit and not environmentally friendly. But we still buy that shit up like no tomorrow. Only we keep pointing the finger at them for stealing our jobs and making everything bad.


Power supply not affected yet and no one injured.


Thanks for this, I’m glad everyone is okay.


I hate that this happened in Taiwan which is my favourite country.


Taiwan is a great COUNTRY.


Coal conveyors can't melt steel beams!!!


Somewhat random, but if this is Taiwan why do they have English lettering on their coats so largely? Has the English language really invaded that much?


I suspect it was influenced by Hollywood portraying American law enforcement with acronyms printed on their uniforms. Like NYPD, FBI... etc.


Steam-cleaned coal.


Well at least the coal was working


Yet, nuclear power plants are still commonly seen as massively more dangerous than fossil fuel plants.


Well as long as it's 'clean coal' everything should be fine.


It appears like that fire crew had just arrived, there is no hose at the back of that fire truck feeding it water to be pressurised, so they are just using the water that is stored in the truck it’s self not sure how long that will last. That nozzle spraying Walter is a great idea as it takes little to no set up time unlike a hose reel. Good job lads.


Finally, someone who gets it. Kinda tired of the countless “they should use more water” comments.


Turning all that coal dust built up in the conveyor belt area into a fuel/air explosive...


I always thought Mickey Mouse was an arsonist..


You can hear Mickey Mouse laughing nervously


I watch this as I’m literally sitting on a 100ft conveyor in a coal plant lol


Watch out for fire.


Two squirts of grease and this tragedy could have been prevented.


Yeah I worked in a natural gas plant for a while. After I quit it exploded a month later.. fuck that lol


My best wishes go to the beautiful country of Taiwan


I toured a coal fire plant once and everyone had to spend around an hour each day vacuuming every surface to prevent any coal dust buildup. Dust only takes a spark to instantly make a big fire.


Coal Company tv ad: the fumes, the cloud, the beauty. Because you cant have all that without coal. F* you Elon Munsk!


Conveyors catch fire so easy. Just one bad bearing.


Coal fuel can melt steel beams


I like the giggle in the background


My lungs are itchy looking at this


well that doesn't look like it's good for the environment


In six months this video will resurface as part of the explanation why some weird corner of the market is all screwed up. "Why can't we anyone in the world buy USB-C cables right now? It all started with this one conveyor belt fire in Taiwan back in the Spring."


Renewables. That’s all I’m saying. I hope everyone was safe.


At least that big green sign seemed to be holding up.


It’s the small things. A win is a win.


And in canada we pay carbon tax....


I like how some of the firefighters are kinda sorta giggling


It’s interesting to me that fire trucks and firefighters’ gear/clothing is so similar across country. That fire truck has the same patterns as the ones around me in middle of the US. The clothing, while black, has similar reflective markings


Yeah, it’s almost as if it serves a certain purpose instead of just being an aesthetic choice.


Oh, totally, I just like how across many cultures and countries, we’ve all found pretty much the same markings as being useful. There’s not much variation


Well there’s also the possibility they were made by the same company.


Someone should go get the Hungarian Tank Jets.


Well, they've just had catastrophic damage to their power plant, but now they've got the world's largest charcoal grill. Just gotta wait for the coal to start glowing red.


If only there was some kind of power generation where the fuel is transported in fireproof containers and constantly immersed while in use…


"This is truck 4; we are going to need some additional units over here and maybe some water."


Oh-the coal dust. I was trying to figure out how a metal conveyor was that flammable


Actually the rubber burns really well too


Someone told the maintenance man just make it fuckin work. So that's what he did.


Coal power plant in Queensland Australia blew up a few weeks ago as well. Largest power outage in a long time.


With the loss of that coal conveyor they’re going to have to replace it with something that’s going to have to eat up coal! Wait the probably replace it with something that is up-to-date. Now here in Merica. Our last orange leader wanted more coal to be used and dug up. One thing he did not do was build any coal powered locomotives. Hell we should all have coal fired boiler is back in our houses. I bet a place like Taiwan is going to build a state of the art non-coal fired plant in its place.


This is awful and stop using coal FFS


That’s a real tragedy.


That’s the single biggest charcoal grill pour i’ve ever seen.


The country of Taiwan, right?


The country of *Republic of China


Went up faster than my first marriage.


Bruh we’re so fucked rn, I bet shit like this happens every day but goes unreported. I just hope we’re not the last generation to live on Earth.


I love the guy doing the "what the shit is happening" nervous laugh when the whole thing flames up


The color of the fire looks very beautiful ngl


Found the arsonist./s


WCGR? It's not like there's highly flammable coal dust everywhere . . .


I hope no injuries...


Hey this is Taichung. I didn't see this on the news today. Cool.


I'm surprised that it doesn't happen more often. Mechanical stokers usually have a bunch of coal dust


Am looking forward to seeing this posted next week on /r/popular with that shitty "Oh No!" Tic Tac music merged on top of the original audio. /S


This seems bad for the semiconductor shortage.


r/CatastrophicFailure waiting for an incident to cause thousands of dollars in damage and multiple deaths so they can post it immediately:


Me: Taiwan is a country John Cena: I’d like to apologize to China on your behalf


Whoa I felt that flare


And that sign just sits there, completely unfazed, not even helping.


Got micky fuckin mouse laughing


"Psst, dude. Coal is flammable."


I don’t know why but this reminds me of the Hindenburg. The way it burns is almost the same


Time to shut down all Coal plants worldwide.


Wow this IS a pretty big fire in the country of Taiwan


Coal on fire ??? How did that happen ?!?


I hope that coal was cleaned before it burned


I love how they say "whoa" in Taiwan just like we do in the States. Global culture!


The little fire engine that.. tried.


Coals the one that's really good for the environment right? Unrelated it's been really hot last couple days.....