Explosion hazard analysis for an enclosure partially filled with a flammable gas
Article first published online: 16 APR 2004
Copyright © 1999 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
Process Safety Progress
Volume 18, Issue 3, pages 170–177, Autumn (Fall) 1999
How to Cite
Ogle, R. A. (1999), Explosion hazard analysis for an enclosure partially filled with a flammable gas. Proc. Safety Prog., 18: 170–177. doi: 10.1002/prs.680180310
- Issue published online: 16 APR 2004
- Article first published online: 16 APR 2004
The constant volume explosion of a flammable gas is one of the more common accidental explosions. The explosion pressure at the stoichiometric condition is approximately 50 times greater than the failure pressure of most industrial structures. Observations from accident scenes suggest that some explosions are caused by a quantity of fuel significantly less than the stoichiometric amount required to fill an enclosure.
This paper presents a method for analyzing the explosion hazard in an enclosure which is only partially filled with a flammable gas. The method, called the adiabatic mixing model, is based on thermodynamics and can be used to calculate the minimum fuel quantity which will yield a specified explosion pressure. Results are presented for a set of representative fuels and are compared with alternative explosion models.
The results demonstrate that catastrophic structural damage can be achieved with a volume of flammable gas which is less than one percent of the enclosure volume. The method can be a useful tool for both hazard analysis and accident investigations.