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1/61
FIRES
EXPLOSIONS
AND
FUNDAMENTALS and DESIGN
CONSIDERATIONS
Harry J. Toups LSU Department of Chemical Engineering with significant
material from SACHE 2003 Workshop presentation by Ray French
(ExxonMobil)
2/61
The Fire Triangle
 Fuels:
– Liquids
 gasoline, acetone,
ether, pentane
– Solids
 plastics, wood dust,
fibers, metal
particles
– Gases
 acetylene, propane,
carbon monoxide,
hydrogen
 Oxidizers
– Liquids
– Gases
 Oxygen,
fluorine, chlorine
 hydrogen
peroxide, nitric
acid, perchloric
acid
– Solids
 Metal peroxides,
ammonium
nitrate  Ignition sources
 Sparks, flames, static
electricity, heat
3/61
 Flash Point
– Lowest temperature at which a flammable
liquid gives off enough vapor to form an
ignitable mixture with air
 Flammable Liquids (NFPA)
– Liquids with a flash point < 100°F
 Combustible Liquids (NFPA)
– Liquids with a flash point  100°F
Liquid Fuels – Definitions
4/61
 Flammable / Explosive Limits
– Range of composition of material in air
which will burn
UFL – Upper Flammable Limit
LFL – Lower Flammable Limit
HEL – Higher Explosive Limit
LEL – Lower Explosive Limit
Vapor Mixtures – Definitions
SAME
SAME
 Measuring These Limits for Vapor-Air Mixtures
– Known concentrations are placed in a closed
vessel apparatus and then ignition is attempted
5/61
Flammability Relationships
AUTO
IGNITION
AIT
MIST
FLAMMABLE REGION
TEMPERATURE
CONCENTRATION
OF
FUEL
FLASH POINT
FLAMMABLE REGION
6/61
Flash Point From Vapor
Pressure
 Most materials start to burn at 50% stoichiometric
 For heptane:
– C7H16 + 11 O2 = 7 CO2 + 8 H2O
– Air = 11/ 0.21 = 52.38 moles air /mole of
C7H16 at stoichiometric conditions
– At 50% stoichiometric, C7H16 vol. % @ 0.9%
– Experimental is 1.1%
– For 1 vol. %, vapor pressure is 1 kPa
temperature = 23o F
– Experimental flash point temperature = 25o F
7/61
Flammability
Diagram
1 Atmosphere
25°C
FLAMMABLE
MIXTURES
HEL
LEL
LOC
Limiting O2
Concentration:
Vol. % O2 below
which combustion
can’t occur
8/61
Flammability
Diagram
1 Atmosphere
25°C
FLAMMABLE
MIXTURES
HEL
LEL
LOC
Limiting O2
Concentration:
Vol. % O2 below
which combustion
can’t occur
9/61
Flammable Limits Change
With:
Inerts
Temperature
Pressure
10/61
Effect of Temperature on
Lower Limits of Flammability
L
E
L,
%
11/61
Effect of Pressure of
Flammability
Initial Pressure, Atm.
Natural
Gas,
volume%
Natural Gas In Air at 28oC
HEL
LEL
12/61
Minimum Ignition Energy
Lowest amount of energy required
for ignition
– Major variable
– Dependent on:
Temperature
% of combustible in combustant
Type of compound
13/61
Minimum Ignition Energy
Effects of Stoichiometry
14/61
Autoignition Temperature
 Temperature at which the vapor ignites
spontaneously from the energy of the
environment
 Function of:
– Concentration of the vapor
– Material in contact
– Size of the containment
15/61
Flammability Relationships
AIT
MIST
FLAMMABLE REGION
TEMPERATURE
CONCENTRATION
OF
FUEL
FLASH POINT
FLAMMABLE REGION
AUTO
IGNITION
AIT
16/61
Material Variation Autoignition
Temperature
Pentane in air 1.50%
3.75%
7.65%
1018 °F
936 °F
889 °F
Benzene Iron flask
Quartz flask
1252 °F
1060 °F
Carbon disulfide 200 ml flask
1000 ml flask
10000 ml flask
248 °F
230 °F
205 °F
Autoignition Temperature
17/61
Autoignition Temperature
18/61
 The process of slow oxidation with accompanying
evolution of heat, sometimes leading to autoignition if
the energy is not removed from the system
 Liquids with relatively low volatility are particularly
susceptible to this problem
 Liquids with high volatility are less susceptible to
autoignition because they self-cool as a result of
evaporation
 Known as spontaneous combustion when a fire
results; e.g., oily rags in warm rooms; land fill fires
Auto-Oxidation
19/61
 Fuel and air will ignite if the vapors are
compressed to an adiabatic temperature
that exceeds the autoignition temperature
 Adiabatic Compression Ignition (ACI)
 Diesel engines operate on this principle;
pre-ignition knocking in gasoline engines
 E.g., flammable vapors sucked into
compressors; aluminum portable oxygen
system fires
Adiabatic Compression
20/61
Ignition Sources of Major Fires
Source Percent of Accidents
Electrical 23
Smoking 18
Friction 10
Overheated Materials 8
Hot Surfaces 7
Burner Flames 7
…
Cutting, Welding, Mech. Sparks 6
…
Static Sparks 1
All Other 20
21/61
More Definitions
 Fire
– A slow form of deflagration
 Deflagration
– Propagating 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 / Explosion
– Propagating 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.
22/61
Classification of Explosions
EXPLOSION =
Rapid Equilibration of High Pressure
Gas via Shock Wave
Physical Explosions Chemical Explosions
Propagating Reactions
Uniform Reactions
Thermal
Explosions
Deflagrations
(Normal
Transport)
Detonations
(Shock Wave)
23/61
Potential Energy
PRESSURE, psig TNT EQUIV., lbs. per ft3
10
100
1000
10000
0.001
0.02
1.42
6.53
TNT equivalent = 5 x 105 calories/lbm
Stored Volumes of Ideal Gas at 20° C
24/61
Deflagration
 Combustion with flame speeds at non-
turbulent velocities of 0.5 - 1 m/sec.
 Pressures rise by heat balance in fixed
volume with pressure ratio of about 10.
CH4 + 2 O2 = CO2 + 2 H2O + 21000 BTU/lb
Initial Mols = 1 + 2/.21 = 10.52
Final Mols = 1 + 2 + 2(0.79/0.21) = 10.52
Initial Temp = 298oK
Final Temp = 2500oK
Pressure Ratio = 9.7
Initial Pressure = 1 bar (abs)
Final Pressure = 9.7 bar (abs)
25/61
Detonation
 Highly turbulent combustion
 Very high flame speeds
 Extremely high pressures >>10 bars
26/61
Pressure vs Time
Characteristics
DETONATION
VAPOR CLOUD DEFLAGRATION
TIME
OVERPRESSURE
27/61
CONSEQUENCES
28/61
Bayway, NJ
H-Oil Incident 1970
29/61
30/61
31/61
32/61
Two Special Cases
Vapor Cloud Explosion
Boiling Liquid /Expanding Vapor
Explosion
33/61
V C E
U
N
C
O
N
F
I
N
E
D
A
P
O
R
L
O
U
D
X
P
L
O
S
I
O
N
S
 An overpressure caused when a gas cloud
detonates or deflagrates in open air rather than
simply burns.
34/61
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.
35/61
What Favors Hi Overpressures?
 Confinement
– Prevents escape,
increases turbulence
 Cloud composition
– Unsaturated molecules
– ‘all ethylene clouds
explode’; low ignition
energies; high flame
speeds
 Good weather
– Stable atmospheres,
low wind speeds
 Large Vapor Clouds
– Higher probability of
finding ignition source;
more likely to generate
overpressure
 Source
– Flashing liquids; high
pressures; large, low or
downward facing leaks
36/61
Impact of VCEs on People
70
160
290
470
670
940
1
2
5
10
15
20
30
35
50
65
Peak
Overpressure
psi
Equivalent
Wind Velocity
mph
Knock personnel down
Rupture eardrums
Damage lungs
Threshold fatalities
50% fatalities
99% fatalities
Effects
37/61
Impact of VCEs on Facilities
0.5-to-1
1-to-2
2-to-3
3-to-4
5
7
7-8
Peak
Overpressure
psi
Glass windows break
Common siding types fail:
- corrugated asbestos shatters
- corrugated steel panel joints fail
- wood siding blows in
Unreinforced concrete, cinder block walls fail
Self-framed steel panel buildings collapse
Oil storage tanks rupture
Utility poles snap
Loaded rail cars overturn
Unreinforced brick walls fail
Typical Damage
38/61
Vapor Clouds and TNT
 World 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 19000
BTU/lb.
 A vapor cloud with a 10% efficiency will respond
like a similar weight of TNT.
39/61
Multi-Energy Models
 Experts 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 explosion
– Congestion/confinement for escape of combustion
products
– Number of serial explosions
 Multi-energy model is consistent with models
and pilot explosions.
40/61
 The result of a vessel failure in a fire and
release of a pressurized liquid rapidly into
the fire
 A pressure wave, a fire ball, vessel
fragments and burning liquid droplets are
usually the result
B L E V
O
I
L
I
N
G
I
Q
U
I
D
X
P
A
N
D
I
N
G
X
P
L
O
S
I
O
N
S
E
A
P
O
R
41/61
BLEVE
FUEL
SOURCE
42/61
BLEVE Video Clip
43/61
Distance Comparison
1
2
5
10
20
50
100
200
500
1000
INVENTORY
(tons)
18
36
60
90
130
200
280
400
600
820
BLEVE
120
150
200
250
310
420
530
670
900
1150
UVCE
20
30
36
50
60
100
130
FIRE
Distance
in Meters
44/61
DESIGN for PREVENTION
45/61
Eliminate Ignition Sources
 Typical Control
– Spacing and Layout
– Spacing and Layout
– Work Procedures
– Work Procedures
– Sewer Design, Diking,
Weed Control,
Housekeeping
– Procedures
 Fire or Flames
– Furnaces and Boilers
– Flares
– Welding
– Sparks from Tools
– Spread from Other Areas jkdj
dkdjfdk dkdfjdkkd jkfdkd fkd
fjkd fjdkkf djkfdkf jkdkf dkf
– Matches and Lighters
46/61
Eliminate Ignition Sources
 Hot Surfaces
– Hot Pipes and Equipment
– Automotive Equipment
 Typical Control
– Area Classification
– Grounding, Inerting,
Relaxation
– Geometry, Snuffing
– Procedures
 Electrical
– Sparks from Switches
– Static Sparks jkfdkd fjkdjd
kdjfdkd
– Lightning
– Handheld Electrical
Equipment
 Typical Control
– Spacing
– Procedures
47/61
Inerting – Vacuum Purging
 Most common procedure for inerting
reactors
 Steps
1. Draw a vacuum
2. Relieve the vacuum with an inert gas
3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 until the desired oxidant
level is reached
 Oxidant Concentration after j cycles:
where PL is vacuum level
PH is inert pressure
j
P
P
o
y
j
y
H
L )
(

48/61
Inerting – Pressure Purging
 Most common procedure for inerting
reactors
 Steps
1. Add inert gas under pressure
2. Vent down to atmospheric pressure
3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 until the desired oxidant
level is reached
 Oxidant Concentration after j cycles:
where nL is atmospheric moles
nH is pressure moles
j
n
n
o
y
j
y
H
L )
(

49/61
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)
50/61
Other Methods of Inerting
 Sweep-Through Purging
– ‘In one end, and out the other’
– For equipment not rated for pressure, vacuum
– Requires large quantities of inert gas
 Siphon Purging
– Fill vessel with a compatible liquid
– Use Sweep-Through on small vapor space
– Add inert purge gas as vessel is drained
– Very efficient for large storage vessels
51/61
1 Atmos.
25°C
FLAMMABLE
MIXTURES
Using the
Flammability
Diagram
52/61
Static Electricity
 Sparks resulting from static charge buildup
(involving at least one poor conductor) and sudden
discharge
 Household Example: walking across a rug and
grabbing a door knob
 Industrial Example: Pumping nonconductive liquid
through a pipe then subsequent grounding of the
container
Dangerous energy near flammable vapors 0.1 mJ
Static buildup by walking across carpet 20 mJ
53/61
Double-Layer Charging
 Streaming Current
– The flow of electricity produced by transferring
electrons from one surface to another by a
flowing fluid or solid
– The larger the pipe / the faster the flow, the
larger the current
 Relaxation Time
– The time for a charge to dissipate by leakage
– The lower the conductivity / the higher the
dielectric constant, the longer the time
54/61
Controlling
Static Electricity
 Reduce rate of charge generation
– Reduce flow rates
 Increase the rate of charge relaxation
– Relaxation tanks after filters, enlarged section of
pipe before entering tanks
 Use bonding and grounding to prevent
discharge
55/61
Controlling
Static Electricity
GROUNDING
BONDING
56/61
Static Electricity – Real Life
57/61
Explosion Proof Equipment
 All electrical devices are inherent ignition
sources
 If 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
58/61
Area Classification
 National
Electrical
Code (NEC)
defines area
classifications
as a function
of the nature
and degree of
process
hazards
present
Class I Flammable gases/vapors present
Class II Combustible dusts present
Class III Combustible dusts present but
not likely in suspension
Group A Acetylene
Group B Hydrogen, ethylene
Group C CO, H2S
Group D Butane, ethane
Division 1 Flammable concentrations
normally present
Division 2 Flammable materials are
normally in closed systems
59/61
VENTILATION
 Open-Air Plants
– Average wind velocities are often high enough to
safely dilute volatile chemical leaks
 Plants Inside Buildings
– Local ventilation
 Purge boxes
 ‘Elephant trunks’
– Dilution ventilation (1 ft3/min/ft2 of floor area)
 When many small points of possible leaks exist
60/61
Summary
Though they can often be reduced in
magnitude or even sometimes
designed out, many of the hazards
that can lead to fires/explosions are
unavoidable
Eliminating at least one side of the
Fire Triangle represents the best
chance for avoiding fires and
explosions
61/61
END of PRESENTATION

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fires-explosions.ppt

  • 1. 1/61 FIRES EXPLOSIONS AND FUNDAMENTALS and DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS Harry J. Toups LSU Department of Chemical Engineering with significant material from SACHE 2003 Workshop presentation by Ray French (ExxonMobil)
  • 2. 2/61 The Fire Triangle  Fuels: – Liquids  gasoline, acetone, ether, pentane – Solids  plastics, wood dust, fibers, metal particles – Gases  acetylene, propane, carbon monoxide, hydrogen  Oxidizers – Liquids – Gases  Oxygen, fluorine, chlorine  hydrogen peroxide, nitric acid, perchloric acid – Solids  Metal peroxides, ammonium nitrate  Ignition sources  Sparks, flames, static electricity, heat
  • 3. 3/61  Flash Point – Lowest temperature at which a flammable liquid gives off enough vapor to form an ignitable mixture with air  Flammable Liquids (NFPA) – Liquids with a flash point < 100°F  Combustible Liquids (NFPA) – Liquids with a flash point  100°F Liquid Fuels – Definitions
  • 4. 4/61  Flammable / Explosive Limits – Range of composition of material in air which will burn UFL – Upper Flammable Limit LFL – Lower Flammable Limit HEL – Higher Explosive Limit LEL – Lower Explosive Limit Vapor Mixtures – Definitions SAME SAME  Measuring These Limits for Vapor-Air Mixtures – Known concentrations are placed in a closed vessel apparatus and then ignition is attempted
  • 6. 6/61 Flash Point From Vapor Pressure  Most materials start to burn at 50% stoichiometric  For heptane: – C7H16 + 11 O2 = 7 CO2 + 8 H2O – Air = 11/ 0.21 = 52.38 moles air /mole of C7H16 at stoichiometric conditions – At 50% stoichiometric, C7H16 vol. % @ 0.9% – Experimental is 1.1% – For 1 vol. %, vapor pressure is 1 kPa temperature = 23o F – Experimental flash point temperature = 25o F
  • 10. 10/61 Effect of Temperature on Lower Limits of Flammability L E L, %
  • 11. 11/61 Effect of Pressure of Flammability Initial Pressure, Atm. Natural Gas, volume% Natural Gas In Air at 28oC HEL LEL
  • 12. 12/61 Minimum Ignition Energy Lowest amount of energy required for ignition – Major variable – Dependent on: Temperature % of combustible in combustant Type of compound
  • 14. 14/61 Autoignition Temperature  Temperature at which the vapor ignites spontaneously from the energy of the environment  Function of: – Concentration of the vapor – Material in contact – Size of the containment
  • 16. 16/61 Material Variation Autoignition Temperature Pentane in air 1.50% 3.75% 7.65% 1018 °F 936 °F 889 °F Benzene Iron flask Quartz flask 1252 °F 1060 °F Carbon disulfide 200 ml flask 1000 ml flask 10000 ml flask 248 °F 230 °F 205 °F Autoignition Temperature
  • 18. 18/61  The process of slow oxidation with accompanying evolution of heat, sometimes leading to autoignition if the energy is not removed from the system  Liquids with relatively low volatility are particularly susceptible to this problem  Liquids with high volatility are less susceptible to autoignition because they self-cool as a result of evaporation  Known as spontaneous combustion when a fire results; e.g., oily rags in warm rooms; land fill fires Auto-Oxidation
  • 19. 19/61  Fuel and air will ignite if the vapors are compressed to an adiabatic temperature that exceeds the autoignition temperature  Adiabatic Compression Ignition (ACI)  Diesel engines operate on this principle; pre-ignition knocking in gasoline engines  E.g., flammable vapors sucked into compressors; aluminum portable oxygen system fires Adiabatic Compression
  • 20. 20/61 Ignition Sources of Major Fires Source Percent of Accidents Electrical 23 Smoking 18 Friction 10 Overheated Materials 8 Hot Surfaces 7 Burner Flames 7 … Cutting, Welding, Mech. Sparks 6 … Static Sparks 1 All Other 20
  • 21. 21/61 More Definitions  Fire – A slow form of deflagration  Deflagration – Propagating 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 / Explosion – Propagating 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. 22/61 Classification of Explosions EXPLOSION = Rapid Equilibration of High Pressure Gas via Shock Wave Physical Explosions Chemical Explosions Propagating Reactions Uniform Reactions Thermal Explosions Deflagrations (Normal Transport) Detonations (Shock Wave)
  • 23. 23/61 Potential Energy PRESSURE, psig TNT EQUIV., lbs. per ft3 10 100 1000 10000 0.001 0.02 1.42 6.53 TNT equivalent = 5 x 105 calories/lbm Stored Volumes of Ideal Gas at 20° C
  • 24. 24/61 Deflagration  Combustion with flame speeds at non- turbulent velocities of 0.5 - 1 m/sec.  Pressures rise by heat balance in fixed volume with pressure ratio of about 10. CH4 + 2 O2 = CO2 + 2 H2O + 21000 BTU/lb Initial Mols = 1 + 2/.21 = 10.52 Final Mols = 1 + 2 + 2(0.79/0.21) = 10.52 Initial Temp = 298oK Final Temp = 2500oK Pressure Ratio = 9.7 Initial Pressure = 1 bar (abs) Final Pressure = 9.7 bar (abs)
  • 25. 25/61 Detonation  Highly turbulent combustion  Very high flame speeds  Extremely high pressures >>10 bars
  • 26. 26/61 Pressure vs Time Characteristics DETONATION VAPOR CLOUD DEFLAGRATION TIME OVERPRESSURE
  • 29. 29/61
  • 30. 30/61
  • 31. 31/61
  • 32. 32/61 Two Special Cases Vapor Cloud Explosion Boiling Liquid /Expanding Vapor Explosion
  • 33. 33/61 V C E U N C O N F I N E D A P O R L O U D X P L O S I O N S  An overpressure caused when a gas cloud detonates or deflagrates in open air rather than simply burns.
  • 34. 34/61 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. 35/61 What Favors Hi Overpressures?  Confinement – Prevents escape, increases turbulence  Cloud composition – Unsaturated molecules – ‘all ethylene clouds explode’; low ignition energies; high flame speeds  Good weather – Stable atmospheres, low wind speeds  Large Vapor Clouds – Higher probability of finding ignition source; more likely to generate overpressure  Source – Flashing liquids; high pressures; large, low or downward facing leaks
  • 36. 36/61 Impact of VCEs on People 70 160 290 470 670 940 1 2 5 10 15 20 30 35 50 65 Peak Overpressure psi Equivalent Wind Velocity mph Knock personnel down Rupture eardrums Damage lungs Threshold fatalities 50% fatalities 99% fatalities Effects
  • 37. 37/61 Impact of VCEs on Facilities 0.5-to-1 1-to-2 2-to-3 3-to-4 5 7 7-8 Peak Overpressure psi Glass windows break Common siding types fail: - corrugated asbestos shatters - corrugated steel panel joints fail - wood siding blows in Unreinforced concrete, cinder block walls fail Self-framed steel panel buildings collapse Oil storage tanks rupture Utility poles snap Loaded rail cars overturn Unreinforced brick walls fail Typical Damage
  • 38. 38/61 Vapor Clouds and TNT  World 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 19000 BTU/lb.  A vapor cloud with a 10% efficiency will respond like a similar weight of TNT.
  • 39. 39/61 Multi-Energy Models  Experts 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 explosion – Congestion/confinement for escape of combustion products – Number of serial explosions  Multi-energy model is consistent with models and pilot explosions.
  • 40. 40/61  The result of a vessel failure in a fire and release of a pressurized liquid rapidly into the fire  A pressure wave, a fire ball, vessel fragments and burning liquid droplets are usually the result B L E V O I L I N G I Q U I D X P A N D I N G X P L O S I O N S E A P O R
  • 45. 45/61 Eliminate Ignition Sources  Typical Control – Spacing and Layout – Spacing and Layout – Work Procedures – Work Procedures – Sewer Design, Diking, Weed Control, Housekeeping – Procedures  Fire or Flames – Furnaces and Boilers – Flares – Welding – Sparks from Tools – Spread from Other Areas jkdj dkdjfdk dkdfjdkkd jkfdkd fkd fjkd fjdkkf djkfdkf jkdkf dkf – Matches and Lighters
  • 46. 46/61 Eliminate Ignition Sources  Hot Surfaces – Hot Pipes and Equipment – Automotive Equipment  Typical Control – Area Classification – Grounding, Inerting, Relaxation – Geometry, Snuffing – Procedures  Electrical – Sparks from Switches – Static Sparks jkfdkd fjkdjd kdjfdkd – Lightning – Handheld Electrical Equipment  Typical Control – Spacing – Procedures
  • 47. 47/61 Inerting – Vacuum Purging  Most common procedure for inerting reactors  Steps 1. Draw a vacuum 2. Relieve the vacuum with an inert gas 3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 until the desired oxidant level is reached  Oxidant Concentration after j cycles: where PL is vacuum level PH is inert pressure j P P o y j y H L ) ( 
  • 48. 48/61 Inerting – Pressure Purging  Most common procedure for inerting reactors  Steps 1. Add inert gas under pressure 2. Vent down to atmospheric pressure 3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 until the desired oxidant level is reached  Oxidant Concentration after j cycles: where nL is atmospheric moles nH is pressure moles j n n o y j y H L ) ( 
  • 49. 49/61 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. 50/61 Other Methods of Inerting  Sweep-Through Purging – ‘In one end, and out the other’ – For equipment not rated for pressure, vacuum – Requires large quantities of inert gas  Siphon Purging – Fill vessel with a compatible liquid – Use Sweep-Through on small vapor space – Add inert purge gas as vessel is drained – Very efficient for large storage vessels
  • 52. 52/61 Static Electricity  Sparks resulting from static charge buildup (involving at least one poor conductor) and sudden discharge  Household Example: walking across a rug and grabbing a door knob  Industrial Example: Pumping nonconductive liquid through a pipe then subsequent grounding of the container Dangerous energy near flammable vapors 0.1 mJ Static buildup by walking across carpet 20 mJ
  • 53. 53/61 Double-Layer Charging  Streaming Current – The flow of electricity produced by transferring electrons from one surface to another by a flowing fluid or solid – The larger the pipe / the faster the flow, the larger the current  Relaxation Time – The time for a charge to dissipate by leakage – The lower the conductivity / the higher the dielectric constant, the longer the time
  • 54. 54/61 Controlling Static Electricity  Reduce rate of charge generation – Reduce flow rates  Increase the rate of charge relaxation – Relaxation tanks after filters, enlarged section of pipe before entering tanks  Use bonding and grounding to prevent discharge
  • 57. 57/61 Explosion Proof Equipment  All electrical devices are inherent ignition sources  If 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. 58/61 Area Classification  National Electrical Code (NEC) defines area classifications as a function of the nature and degree of process hazards present Class I Flammable gases/vapors present Class II Combustible dusts present Class III Combustible dusts present but not likely in suspension Group A Acetylene Group B Hydrogen, ethylene Group C CO, H2S Group D Butane, ethane Division 1 Flammable concentrations normally present Division 2 Flammable materials are normally in closed systems
  • 59. 59/61 VENTILATION  Open-Air Plants – Average wind velocities are often high enough to safely dilute volatile chemical leaks  Plants Inside Buildings – Local ventilation  Purge boxes  ‘Elephant trunks’ – Dilution ventilation (1 ft3/min/ft2 of floor area)  When many small points of possible leaks exist
  • 60. 60/61 Summary Though they can often be reduced in magnitude or even sometimes designed out, many of the hazards that can lead to fires/explosions are unavoidable Eliminating at least one side of the Fire Triangle represents the best chance for avoiding fires and explosions