Explosion of 14th January 2020 at IQOXE, Tarragona, Spain
Neyraval, Philippe
Egan, Simon Mark
Basco, Jose
Arques, Javier Soro

How to Cite

Neyraval P., Egan S.M., Basco J., Arques J.S., 2022, Explosion of 14th January 2020 at IQOXE, Tarragona, Spain, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 90, 649-654.


The explosion of 14th January 2020 at IQOXE (Industrias Quimicas del Óxido de Etileno) in Tarrogona, Spain, lead to the deaths of 3 people. In this paper we present:The ethoxylation reactor which exploded,The process used to make MPEG 500 (polyethylene glycol methyl ether of average molar mass 500),The damage resulting from the explosion,The technical causes of the explosion,Essential safety requirements for ethoxylation reactors, especially for pressure relief.
In the light of this accident and the large number of ethoxylation reactors which are operating worldwide, there are several lessons which can be learnt and we hope that they will help to avoid any repetition.