Predicting and controlling flammability of multiple fuel and multiple inert mixtures



Le Chatelier's Rule is in wide use for predicting the flammability of mixtures with multiple fuels present. The rule does not conveniently handle multiple inerts or elevated temperatures and pressures. This paper describes an alternate method, developed at Air Products, called FLAMCHEKTM, which conveniently handles these variables. This method for predicting flammability is based upon the commonality of the adiabatic flame temperature of a wide variety of fuels at their upper and lower flammable limits. The method, if PC based, can be extended to automatically control the addition of inerts, fuels, or oxidizers in order to avoid flammable conditions. The concept may be extended to more involved applications, such as within an oil well with fuel gas mixtures containing oxygen. In this case, the location from which a gas sample is obtained for analysis (wellhead) may have a different fuel analysis and flammability condition than the location where an explosion is likely to initiate (bottom of well). Hence a correction of the fuels analysis is required.