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Finding a way through the “misty” evaluation of the flammability and explosivity of kerosene aerosols

Abstract : In the context of assessing hydrocarbon mist ignition sensitivity and explosion severity, an original test method is proposed, focusing on kerosene JetA1 mists but is applicable to other hydrocarbons. Experiments were carried out in a modified apparatus based on the 20L explosion sphere. Fine control of the gas/liquid ratio and flow rates, the mist concentration, and the ignition energy and duration, was ensured by a specifically customized control system guaranteeing the flexibility and compliance of the test apparatus. The droplet size distribution (DSD) and the level of turbulence of the JetA1 mist cloud were first determined by an in-situ laser diffraction sensor and by Particle Image Velocimetry, respectively. The lower explosive limit (LEL), the minimum ignition energy (MIE), the limiting oxygen concentration (LOC), the maximum explosion overpressure (Pmax), and the maximum rate of pressure rise (dP/dtmax) were then determined for different mist concentrations, ambient temperatures, initial turbulence levels, energies, and DSD. Tests showed that the LELmist of JetA1 mists of an average diameter of 8 µm is around 94 g/m3, a value which increases to 220 g/m3 with increasing DSD. This value also tends to decrease considerably with increasing temperatures. Moreover, at a JetA1 concentration of 125 g/m3, Pmax and dP/dtmax as high as 6 bar and 192 bar/s respectively were reached, the latter increasing to about 480 bar/s at T = 60 °C. These mists were shown to be ignitable using energies as low as 200 mJ, which is lower than that of vapors at low temperatures, and a limiting concentration of oxygen of 15.8 %v/v. The potential presence of hydrocarbon mist should therefore be an element that requires reconsidering the classification of hazardous areas. Finally, to stress the influence of the vapor-liquid ratio present in the cloud before ignition on the combustion kinetics, an evaporation model based on the d2-law was developed estimating the evaporation time and the vapor quantity at different initial temperatures or droplet diameters. Findings were shown to be well coherent allowing the proposition of a new technique for determining hydrocarbon mist safety criteria. Finally, results have shown that JetA1 mists can ignite at temperatures below the liquid’s flashpoint under varying turbulence levels and droplet size distributions.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 21, 2022 - 2:55:58 PM
Last modification on : Monday, November 28, 2022 - 2:11:27 PM

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Stephanie El-Zahlanieh, Idalba Souza dos Santos, Shyarinya Sivabalan, David Brunello, Benoit Tribouilloy, et al.. Finding a way through the “misty” evaluation of the flammability and explosivity of kerosene aerosols. Fuel, 2022, 328, pp.125275. ⟨10.1016/j.fuel.2022.125275⟩. ⟨ineris-03847279⟩

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