Chemical Tanker Guide Online
Home || Chemical hazards || Various chemicals || Cargo Stowage || Care ||Tank cleaning ||Handling equipments ||

Phenol characteristics & handling methods

Phenol are high value and require sophisticated handling for safety, health and loss prevention reasons. They need careful consideration prior loading , tank coating compatibility, cross compatibility with other cargoes carried, environmental controls if required (inerting).

Product characteristics of Phenol

PHENOL is carried at sea in a generally pure state. As a result, it has a high freezing point of approximately 40~ 41deg C. PHENOL is also extremely dangerous when it comes into contact with the eyes or skin and can be fatal.

Phenol is used to manufacture phenolic resins, and in the pharmaceutical industry. In past, phenol has been used in disinfectants in hospital operating theatres, due to its ability to destroy germs, body tissue etc.

Other Names: - Carbolic Acid, Monohydroxy Benzene

Code minimum requirement

  1. UN number : 2312
  2. Pollution category : Y
  3. Hazards Safety and pollution hazard : (S / P)
  4. Ship type : 2
  5. Tank type : Integral and Gravity tank
  6. Tank vents : Controlled venting
  7. Tank Environment : No
  8. Electrical equipment : T1,iiA,flashpoint exceeds 60 deg
  9. Gauging : Closed
  10. Vapour Detection : Toxic vapours
  11. Fire Protection : Alcohol resistant foam or multipurpose foam
  12. Material of construction : Nil
  13. Respiratory and eye protection : Yes

Special arrangements for carrying Phenol

  1. All personnel engaged in PHENOL operations must be familiar with the procedures for dealing with accidental discharges and emergency first aid procedures, as outlined below.

  2. Sufficient Draeger tubes must be available before PHENOL is loaded. When determining a “sufficient” number, the following criteria should be taken into consideration.

  3. The main hazard caused by PHENOL is that of the liquid coming into contact with eyes or exposed skin. The potential lethal consequences of even a small area of exposed skin or the eyes being splashed cannot and must not be underestimated.

  4. The only chemical antidote available, POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL, must be immediately available at the manifold, along with a quantity of cotton wool. Should anybody come into contact with PHENOL, the glycol should be swabbed liberally onto the affected area. It should be borne in mind that the pain is intense and death can occur within 30 minutes. After swabbing down, the emergency shower must be used, with the patient remaining in the shower for at least 5 minutes.

  5. After the minimum period, the patient should then use his own shower for a further period of time, whilst shore assistance is requested. There is a high risk of shock and the patient must be reassured at all times.

  6. Cargo hazard data sheets must be posted and non-essential personnel must be kept clear of the operating area. Access to the vessel should be from behind the manifold and all persons must be made aware that PHENOL operations are to be conducted. If all procedures are followed, then operations will pass uneventfully.

  7. If the vessel is to load Phenol, a ship specific procedure and safety plan is to be drawn up, and discussed with the office prior agreeing on quantities and loading plan. The ship specific procedures should highlight any vessel design issues in relation to the cargo nature.

Preparation for loading Phenol

Topping Off

Line Blowing

Effective and mandatory blowing of cargo lines should be carried out immediately upon completion of loading. In case that loading is stopped for any reason, the vessel should be prepared and ready to blow the cargo lines immediately back to the tank from the manifold. If cargo tanks are fitted with a drop line great care must be taken to load simultaneously part of the cargo through the pump stack in order to prevent blocking of the cargo line between the delivery valve of the pump and the drop line valve.

1. High pressure nitrogen must be used for blowing cargo lines.
2. Controlled blowing must be conducted until the line to the tank is free from PHENOL. It may well take some 10/15 minutes of blowing each line until the lines are clear. The lines can be “tapped” using a small hammer or spanner. If a clear bell type ring is heard, then the lines should be clear. A dull “thunk” indicates that product is in the line and may already be frozen.

Note: the opposite side (of manifold crossover) to loading connection will be solidified and must be externally heated.


Closed sampling system should be used. Hot water / steam have to be available during sampling in order to unfreeze a blocked sampling point.
Phenol is very easily discoloured. This will happen when stored for a long time, and will be accelerated by heat.
If the discoloration has started, it will continue regardless of any action, but note above. At least the following samples must be retained onboard in addition to any samples for receivers:
  1. Shore tank(s) sample(s)
  2. Shoreline sample
  3. Start sample at vessel's manifold.
  4. First foot sample.
  5. Full tank sample after loading.


1. Once loading has commenced, it must not be interrupted unless absolutely essential. If loading is interrupted, lines must be blown using the line blowing procedure outlined. Rates to individual tanks should be adjusted to facilitate quick and effective topping off, without risk to personnel, the environment and the ship’s cargo system.

2. All tanks to be loaded must have adequate ventilation. As PHENOL freezes at +40oC, personnel must be aware that there is a possibility that vent lines may become blocked should the vapour freeze.

3. It should also be realized that during loading operations, PHENOL vapour will be released into the atmosphere during loading and can fall as snow. Depending on ambient weather conditions, including wind direction and strength, there will always be a real risk that PHENOL may be deposited over a large area of the vessel, including gangways, flying bridge, deck access etc.


1. Once the lines have been blown, hoses can be disconnected and blanked. During the loaded voyage, flexible hoses should be disconnected, along with any sections of “non permanent pipework” i.e. reducers, “Y” pieces, crossovers etc.

2. There are no special carriage requirements for PHENOL, other than ensuring that the cargo temperature is maintained in accordance with charterers heating instructions. If no specific heating instructions are supplied, the cargo should be kept at a temperature of approximately +55oC or advice sought from the office.

3. The PHENOL must be carried at temperatures within charterers instructions, typically between +50 and + 60 degrees centigrade. A full cargo heating log must be maintained.

Discharging Phenol

1. Due to its high freezing point, vapour lines, pressure/vacuum valves, pump stack valves and deck tank sumps etc. may be blocked due to frozen product. Care must be taken during the initial stages of discharge to ensure that all are unblocked by applying either external live steam or hot water and then;

a) Product is moving and being discharged.

b) Tank ventilation is effective for the discharge rate.

c) If there is any doubt, the discharge rate should be slowed down. If discharge has to be stopped, then dry air or nitrogen must be available immediately to blow and clear lines.

2. The fire main is to be pressurized before commencing discharge and throughout all cargo/tank cleaning operations. The anchor cables can be used to bleed pressure, whilst the system is in standby. Foam/water cannons are to be directed over the cargo handling/manifold area throughout the operation.

3. If the cargo is to be discharged in parcels, then the following precautions must be made, prior to completing a parcel.

a) Nitrogen must be available to immediately blow all lines back to the tank(s) being discharged. Lines must be blown until the chief officer is satisfied that the lines are clear.

b) Upon completion of a tank/cargo, a tank dry certificate must be issued immediately, due notice must be given to the receiver’s representative to ensure that he/she is on board and in position prior to completion of cargo.

c) The minimum number of tanks and lines to be used for each parcel. Once the tank dry certificate has been issued, lines must be blown until the chief officer is completely satisfied that the lines are clear.


4. Upon completion of blowing, the immediate area should be drenched with sea water to wash away any residual product that may remain.

5. Water should be introduced in to the empty tank as soon as possible to sufficiently cover the heating coils. This can be done by either using a fire hose (WITHOUT A NOZZLE) or a butterworth machine (WITHOUT A TANK WASHING MACHINE). Once the water is in the tanks and covering the coils, the coils are to be opened. This will have two effects.

a) Any ROB will be diluted to commence reducing the adverse effects of the cargo and to reduce its freezing point.

b) The diluted product will be heated to avoid any freezing of pump sumps and lines, which will enable tank cleaning operations to be carried out.


*N.B. / It has been reported that an exposed area of less than 2 square inches can be fatal!

6. Should there be a major leakage; the area should be drenched by using the water cannon. Shore Authorities should be advised if a major spillage occurs.

Cleaning operation

1. PHENOL is a category “Y” substance and depending on the discharge temperature, should be pre-washed in accordance with MARPOL requirements (Solidifying Substances).

2. Procedures for pre-washing are as follows:

3. Once pre-washing has been completed, the Cargo Record Book must be endorsed properly, or a certificate attached to the relevant page.

4. Regardless of whether or not tanks have been pre-washed, all tanks used for the carriage of PHENOL must be tank cleaned in accordance with the requirements of MARPOL Annex II substances, as a minimum and prepared for the next cargo. Any instructions regarding special cleaning procedures supplied by the charterers must be followed and the washing/cleaning procedures detailed in the vessel’s tank cleaning log book. The following should be regarded as a minimum.

5. Prior to washing, the water temperature should be raised to at least +80 deg C and all butterworth openings utilized.

6. At least two complete cycles, with 3-5 drops, to ensure all tank surfaces are covered

7. Fresh water rinsing

8. Vent, mop and dry.

9. A tank entry certificate must be completed before any entry into a cargo tank.

Phenol handling more safety guide

Hazards of Phenol - safe handling of Phenol on chemical tankers.
Phenol is derived from the basic raw materials of benzene and propylene. Phenol is typically a solid at room temperature as it solidifies at 41°C (106 °F). Plywood, window glazing, DVDs, computers, automotive parts and LCD/LED TVs are some of the many items that rely on this important raw material. .....

Marine transportation of Phenol and more safety guideline
The lack of care and attention against the handling of Phenol may be involved in accidents which can be damaged to crew, cargo or structures. .....

handling Phenol safety precautions
PHENOL is carried at sea in a generally pure state. As a result, it has a high freezing point of approximately 40~ 41deg C. PHENOL is also extremely dangerous when it comes into contact with the eyes or skin and can be fatal. .....

We have summarized below some of the special chemical cargoes frequently carried onboard chemical tankers

Handling benzene & methanol safety precautions

Handling carcinogens requirements for certain chemical cargoes

Handling ACRYLONITRILE safety precautions

handling ISOCYANATES safety precautions

handling Sulfuric acid safety precautions

Handling benzene & methanol safety precautions

Requirements of various grade chemical cargo heating

Following detail pages explain all liquid chemical hazards & precautionary measures while carrying at sea.

  1. Toxicology and associated hazards onboard chemical tankers
  2. Hazards of vapour given off by a flammable liquid while carrying at sea
  3. Reactivity of various noxious liquid chemicals
  4. Most corrosive chemicals carried onboard chemical tankers
  5. What is putrefaction process of liquid chemicals ?
  6. Specific gravity,Vapour pressure and boiling point,Electrostatic charging & measuring Viscosity
  7. General precautions onboard chemical tankers
  8. Mooring precautions onboard chemical tankers
  9. Berth precautions onboard chemical tankers
  10. Cold weather countermeasures, avoiding electric storms
  11. Restriction on using radio equipments and other mobile devices in cargo working areas
  12. Handling precautions for carcinogens or cyanide-like substances
  13. Means of access (gangways or accommodation ladders) safety precautions
  14. Preparations for hot work and safety precautions
  15. Precautions against static electricity

Following reference publications provide useful guidance and international regulations for carrying hazardous chemicals at sea.

Main Info pages!

Home page ||| Chemical hazards ||| Cargo planning & Stowage ||| Cargo loading ||| Cargo documents ||| Safe stability ||| Cargo care ||| Preparation for unloading ||| Inert gas systems |||Gas freeing ||| Nitrogen handling ||| Chemical handling Safe practice |||Handling equipments ||| Cargo & Ballast pumps ||| Cargo tanks |||Tank cleaning |||Special cargoes |||Spills emergencies |||Fire protection is merely an informational site about various aspects of chemical tankers and safety tips that may be particular value to those working in: Chemical Handling, Chemical Storage, Liquefied Chemical Suppliers, Chemical Shipping, Chemical Transportation, Chemical Terminals, Bulk Chemical Services and Chemical Processing. If you are interested in finding out more about chemical tanker guideline please visit IMO official website. For any comment please Contact us

Copyright © 2011 Chemical Tanker All rights reserved.