Hydroxylamine incidents in Japan and the USA - issue 259

Issue Number: 259


This article describes incidents involving hydroxylamine (HA) in Japan and in the USA and evaluation results from tests carried out by the National Research Institute of Fire and Disaster, Japan (NRIFD). The incident in Japan resulted in four fatalities and the USA incident, five. The tests were aimed at understanding the technical and scientific causes of the incidents and at using the results to prevent the recurrence of a similar incident. Hydroxylamine is an inorganic compound with the formula NH2OH, usually used as an aqueous solution. It can explode on heating and, though the nature of the explosive hazard is not well understood, it is known that ferrous, and ferric, iron salts accelerate the decomposition of 50% HA solutions. These properties are relevant to the incidents described.

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