How to Protect the Environment from Diesel Engine Runaway?

Let’s face it; diesel engine runaway is not only a threat to human life but also to the environment. That is to say, this highly dangerous condition is known to be lethal and scientific studies also show that the macro effects are just as damaging.

But how exactly is diesel engine runaway impacting the environment?

In this article, we will take a closer look at diesel engine runaway and how it poses some very serious threats to both people and the environment.

The Impact of Diesel Engine Runaway on the Environment

As we previously outlined, diesel engine runaway is caused when the engine of a vehicle or mechanical equipment malfunctions and loses control. As for the cause, this can be due to faulty fuel pipes or damaged links but there is really no single cause for the condition.

As you might expect, the implications of this condition are especially severe in a work environment. After all, there are usually more people present and more destructible objects to catch fire or even explode. As for the overall environment, the burning of these fuels cause pollution to the air and when diesel engine runaway occurs, the extent of these fumes is immense in comparison.

In fact, a recent disaster in Texas can tell us everything we need to know about these dangers. You see, the stakes are high with diesel engine runaway but then higher again when it comes to gas and oil drilling or industries where hydrocarbon emissions are highly flammable.

Here’s a short case study on a recent disaster which serves as a reminder that changes are needed to protect the environment and the people who make it their home.

Case Study: Texas City Refinery explosion

Some years ago in Texas, an explosion in an oil refinery left 15 workers dead and more than 180 injured. As you might expect, this blast destroyed the refinery itself and although tragic, the casualties could have been far more severe.

It happened on the grounds of the BP refinery, where the oil giant was producing several hundred barrels of oil every day. During one particular refinery turnaround, some large machinery (an isomerization unit) was restarted after lying idle for two weeks and an unusual amount of pressure began to build up inside the unit.

Shortly after, three relief valves opened and allowed so much fuel inside the fuel drum that it was far beyond its normal capacity. In the end, liquid vapour shot up into the air and alarms sounded as it created an immense cloud.

However, it was too late to shut down the machinery and when an unidentified spark made contact with the gas, an explosion ensued.

Needless to say, the average vehicle is not surrounded by so many air-borne hydrocarbons but the truth is, the consequences are still the very same for people in the vicinity. Afterward, it was confirmed that the explosion happened because nearby workers were unable to shut down a truck’s diesel engine.

In other words, diesel engine runaway was the cause of this awful tragedy.

How to Protect the Environment from Diesel Engine Runaway


Although maintenance is good for any engine, modification is the only way to prevent diesel engine runaway. That is to say, the only pragmatic way to protect the environment from this condition is to install a small contraption known as a “shut off valve”.

Simply put, this shut off valve closes the air supply in the event of an engine reaching unusually high levels of RPM. Unfortunately, this valve could have prevented the above scenario and saved many people/places from similar accidents.

That being said, Diesel Tech Industries is determined to protect their customers and the environment by educating individuals and businesses about these dangers. With the use of the shut off valve, they can also help prevent future disasters and in turn, protect the environment in the process.


Unfortunately for many people and businesses, they end up learning about the consequences of diesel engine runaway in the worst possible way. That is, we often ignore the warnings around diesel engine runaway until a worst-case scenario presents itself.

The truth is, diesel engines are reliable and have a reputation for performance over long distances and extended periods of time. But show us a man-made creation, and we will show you the possibility of failure and in the case of diesel engine runaway, this failure is a recipe for disaster.