Presentation on theme: "FIRES EXPLOSIONS AND FUNDAMENTALS and DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS"— Presentation transcript:
1 FIRES EXPLOSIONS AND FUNDAMENTALS and DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS Harry J. Toups LSU Department of Chemical Engineering with significantmaterial from SACHE 2003 Workshop presentation by Ray French (ExxonMobil)
3 Liquid Fuels – Definitions Flash PointLowest temperature at which a flammable liquid gives off enough vapor to form an ignitable mixture with airFlammable Liquids (NFPA)Liquids with a flash point < 100°FCombustible Liquids (NFPA)Liquids with a flash point ³ 100°F
4 Vapor Mixtures – Definitions Flammable / Explosive LimitsRange of composition of material in air which will burnUFL – Upper Flammable LimitLFL – Lower Flammable LimitHEL – Higher Explosive LimitLEL – Lower Explosive LimitSAMESAMEMeasuring These Limits for Vapor-Air MixturesKnown concentrations are placed in a closed vessel apparatus and then ignition is attempted
5 Flammability Relationships UPPER LIMITLOWER LIMITVAPOR PRESSUREAUTOIGNITIONAITMISTFLAMMABLE REGIONTEMPERATURECONCENTRATION OF FUELFLAMMABLE REGIONFLASH POINT
6 Flash Point From Vapor Pressure Most materials start to burn at 50% stoichiometricFor heptane:C7H O2 = 7 CO2 + 8 H2OAir = 11/ 0.21 = moles air /mole of C7H16 at stoichiometric conditionsAt 50% stoichiometric, C7H16 vol. 0.9%Experimental is 1.1%For 1 vol. %, vapor pressure is 1 kPa temperature = 23o FExperimental flash point temperature = 25o F
16 Autoignition Temperature MaterialVariationAutoignitionTemperaturePentane in air1.50%3.75%7.65%1018 °F936 °F889 °FBenzeneIron flaskQuartz flask1252 °F1060 °FCarbon disulfide200 ml flask1000 ml flask10000 ml flask248 °F230 °F205 °F
18 Auto-OxidationThe process of slow oxidation with accompanying evolution of heat, sometimes leading to autoignition if the energy is not removed from the systemLiquids with relatively low volatility are particularly susceptible to this problemLiquids with high volatility are less susceptible to autoignition because they self-cool as a result of evaporationKnown as spontaneous combustion when a fire results; e.g., oily rags in warm rooms; land fill fires
19 Adiabatic Compression Fuel and air will ignite if the vapors are compressed to an adiabatic temperature that exceeds the autoignition temperatureAdiabatic Compression Ignition (ACI)Diesel engines operate on this principle; pre-ignition knocking in gasoline enginesE.g., flammable vapors sucked into compressors; aluminum portable oxygen system fires
20 Ignition Sources of Major Fires Percent of AccidentsElectrical23Smoking18Friction10Overheated Materials8Hot Surfaces7Burner Flames…Cutting, Welding, Mech. Sparks6Static Sparks1All Other20
21 More Definitions Fire Deflagration Detonation / Explosion A slow form of deflagrationDeflagrationPropagating reactions in which the energy transfer from the reaction zone to the unreacted zone is accomplished thru ordinary transport processes such as heat and mass transfer.Detonation / ExplosionPropagating reactions in which energy is transferred from the reaction zone to the unreacted zone on a reactive shock wave. The velocity of the shock wave always exceeds sonic velocity in the reactant.
22 Classification of Explosions Rapid Equilibration of High Pressure Gas via Shock WavePhysical ExplosionsChemical ExplosionsPropagating ReactionsUniform ReactionsThermal ExplosionsDeflagrations (Normal Transport)Detonations (Shock Wave)
23 Potential Energy TNT equivalent = 5 x 105 calories/lbm Stored Volumes of Ideal Gas at 20° CPRESSURE, psigTNT EQUIV., lbs. per ft3101001000100000.0010.021.426.53TNT equivalent = 5 x 105 calories/lbm
24 DeflagrationCombustion with flame speeds at non-turbulent velocities of m/sec.Pressures rise by heat balance in fixed volume with pressure ratio of about 10.CH4 + 2 O2 = CO2 + 2 H2O BTU/lbInitial Mols = /.21 = 10.52Final Mols = (0.79/0.21) = 10.52Initial Temp = 298oKFinal Temp = 2500oKPressure Ratio = 9.7Initial Pressure = 1 bar (abs)Final Pressure = 9.7 bar (abs)
25 Detonation Highly turbulent combustion Very high flame speeds Extremely high pressures >>10 bars
26 Pressure vs Time Characteristics DETONATIONVAPOR CLOUD DEFLAGRATIONOVERPRESSURETIME
32 Two Special Cases Vapor Cloud Explosion Boiling Liquid /Expanding Vapor Explosion
33 UNCOFIEDVCEAPORLOUDXPLOSINAn overpressure caused when a gas cloud detonates or deflagrates in open air rather than simply burns.
34 What Happens to a Vapor Cloud? Cloud will spread from too rich, through flammable range to too lean.Edges start to burn through deflagration (steady state combustion).Cloud will disperse through natural convection.Flame velocity will increase with containment and turbulence.If velocity is high enough cloud will detonate.If cloud is small enough with little confinement it cannot explode.
35 What Favors Hi Overpressures? ConfinementPrevents escape, increases turbulenceCloud compositionUnsaturated molecules – ‘all ethylene clouds explode’; low ignition energies; high flame speedsGood weatherStable atmospheres, low wind speedsLarge Vapor CloudsHigher probability of finding ignition source; more likely to generate overpressureSourceFlashing liquids; high pressures; large, low or downward facing leaks
36 Impact of VCEs on People Peak OverpressurepsiEquivalent Wind VelocitymphEffects70160290470670940Knock personnel downRupture eardrumsDamage lungsThreshold fatalities50% fatalities99% fatalities12510152030355065
38 Vapor Clouds and TNTWorld of explosives is dominated by TNT impact which is understood.Vapor clouds, by analysis of incidents, seem to respond like TNT if we can determine the equivalent TNT.1 pound of TNT has a LHV of 1890 BTU/lb.1 pound of hydrocarbon has a LHV of about BTU/lb.A vapor cloud with a 10% efficiency will respond like a similar weight of TNT.
39 Multi-Energy ModelsExperts plotted efficiency against vapor cloud size and … reached no effective conclusions. Efficiencies were between 0.1% and 50%Recent developments in science suggest too many unknowns for simple TNT model.Key variables to overpressure effect are:Quantity of combustant in explosionCongestion/confinement for escape of combustion productsNumber of serial explosionsMulti-energy model is consistent with models and pilot explosions.
40 BLEVEOILNGIQUDXPANDIGAPORXPLOSINThe result of a vessel failure in a fire and release of a pressurized liquid rapidly into the fireA pressure wave, a fire ball, vessel fragments and burning liquid droplets are usually the result
45 Eliminate Ignition Sources Fire or FlamesFurnaces and BoilersFlaresWeldingSparks from ToolsSpread from Other Areas jkdj dkdjfdk dkdfjdkkd jkfdkd fkd fjkd fjdkkf djkfdkf jkdkf dkfMatches and LightersTypical ControlSpacing and LayoutWork ProceduresSewer Design, Diking, Weed Control, HousekeepingProcedures
46 Eliminate Ignition Sources Hot SurfacesHot Pipes and EquipmentAutomotive EquipmentTypical ControlSpacingProceduresElectricalSparks from SwitchesStatic Sparks jkfdkd fjkdjd kdjfdkdLightningHandheld Electrical EquipmentTypical ControlArea ClassificationGrounding, Inerting, RelaxationGeometry, SnuffingProcedures
47 Inerting – Vacuum Purging Most common procedure for inerting reactorsStepsDraw a vacuumRelieve the vacuum with an inert gasRepeat Steps 1 and 2 until the desired oxidant level is reachedOxidant Concentration after j cycles:where PL is vacuum levelPH is inert pressure
48 Inerting – Pressure Purging Most common procedure for inerting reactorsStepsAdd inert gas under pressureVent down to atmospheric pressureRepeat Steps 1 and 2 until the desired oxidant level is reachedOxidant Concentration after j cycles:where nL is atmospheric molesnH is pressure moles
49 Vacuum? Pressure? Which?Pressure purging is faster because pressure differentials are greater (+PP)Vacuum purging uses less inert gas than pressure purging (+VP)Combining the two gains benefits of both especially if the initial cycle is a vacuum cycle (+ VP&PP)
50 Other Methods of Inerting Sweep-Through Purging‘In one end, and out the other’For equipment not rated for pressure, vacuumRequires large quantities of inert gasSiphon PurgingFill vessel with a compatible liquidUse Sweep-Through on small vapor spaceAdd inert purge gas as vessel is drainedVery efficient for large storage vessels
51 Using the Flammability Diagram1 Atmos.25°CFLAMMABLE MIXTURES
52 Static ElectricitySparks resulting from static charge buildup (involving at least one poor conductor) and sudden dischargeHousehold Example: walking across a rug and grabbing a door knobIndustrial Example: Pumping nonconductive liquid through a pipe then subsequent grounding of the containerDangerous energy near flammable vapors0.1 mJStatic buildup by walking across carpet20 mJ
53 Double-Layer Charging Streaming CurrentThe flow of electricity produced by transferring electrons from one surface to another by a flowing fluid or solidThe larger the pipe / the faster the flow, the larger the currentRelaxation TimeThe time for a charge to dissipate by leakageThe lower the conductivity / the higher the dielectric constant, the longer the time
54 Controlling Static Electricity Reduce rate of charge generationReduce flow ratesIncrease the rate of charge relaxationRelaxation tanks after filters, enlarged section of pipe before entering tanksUse bonding and grounding to prevent discharge
57 Explosion Proof Equipment All electrical devices are inherent ignition sourcesIf flammable materials might be present at times in an area, it is designated XP (Explosion Proof Required)Explosion-proof housing (or intrinsically-safe equipment) is required
58 Area ClassificationNational Electrical Code (NEC) defines area classifications as a function of the nature and degree of process hazards presentClass IFlammable gases/vapors presentClass IICombustible dusts presentClass IIICombustible dusts present but not likely in suspensionGroup AAcetyleneGroup BHydrogen, ethyleneGroup CCO, H2SGroup DButane, ethaneDivision 1Flammable concentrations normally presentDivision 2Flammable materials are normally in closed systems
59 VENTILATION Open-Air Plants Plants Inside Buildings Average wind velocities are often high enough to safely dilute volatile chemical leaksPlants Inside BuildingsLocal ventilationPurge boxes‘Elephant trunks’Dilution ventilation (³ 1 ft3/min/ft2 of floor area)When many small points of possible leaks exist
60 SummaryThough they can often be reduced in magnitude or even sometimes designed out, many of the hazards that can lead to fires/explosions are unavoidableEliminating at least one side of the Fire Triangle represents the best chance for avoiding fires and explosions