In nature, hydrocarbons are found in crude oil. This is because the decomposed organic matter contains a lot of carbon and hydrogen in it. Hydrocarbons can be gases (e.g. methane and propane), liquids (e.g. hexane and benzene), waxes or low melting solids (e.g. paraffin wax and naphthalene) or polymers (e.g. polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene).

Hydrocarbons are a primary energy source for current civilizations. The predominant use of hydrocarbons is as a combustible fuel source. In their solid form, hydrocarbons take the form of asphalt (bitumen).

They serve as fuels and lubricants as well as raw materials for the production of plastics, fibres, rubbers, solvents, explosives, and industrial chemicals.

Hydrocarbons are Combustible and are an Explosion Hazard:

Hydrocarbons, technically speaking, are substances which can chemically react with oxygen and produce heat energy. Its natural substances are of organic origin with more or less combustible parts.

At normal room temperatures, flammable liquids can give off enough vapour to form burnable mixtures with air. As a result, they can be a serious fire hazard. Flammable liquid fires burn very fast.    Combustible liquids at temperatures above their flashpoint also release enough vapour to form burnable mixtures with air.  

Spray mists of flammable and combustible liquids in air may burn at any temperature if an ignition source is present. The vapours of flammable and combustible liquids are usually invisible. They can be hard to detect unless special instruments are used.

Most flammable and combustible liquids flow easily. A small spill can cover a large area of workbench or floor. Burning liquids can flow under doors, down stairs and even into neighbouring buildings, spreading fire widely

Suggested Industrial Vacuums for Recovery of Hydrocarbons

PrestiVac Explosion Proof/Dust Ignition Protected Vacuums are designed to safely vacuum explosive, flammable, combustible conductive* dusts. Our Explosion Proof/Dust Ignition Protected Vacuums are completely grounded and static dissipating because they are built entirely with non-sparking metals and do not have any painted components so there is no risk of fire or explosion from a spark or static build up. All the electrical components, including the motor and starter are totally enclosed so there is no source of ignition. Our explosion proof vacuum cleaners comply with NFPA 484 guidelines and are an effective tool for good housekeeping practise as per OSHA.

Which Industries are at Risk with Hydrocarbons?