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Conference Papers Year : 2022

The role of vapor fraction in hydrocarbon mist explosion


The modern world depends greatly on hydrocarbons which are ubiquitous, indispensable fuels used in nearly every existing industry. Although important, their use may trigger dangerous incidents, whether in their production, handling, storage, or transporting phase, especially when aerosolized. In light of proposing a standard procedure to assess the flammability and explosivity of fuel mists, a new test method was established based on the EN 14034 standard. For the previous purposes, a gravity-fed mist generation system was designed and employed in a modified 20 L explosion vessel. This test method allowed the determination of the ignition sensitivity of several fuels. In addition, their explosion severity was represented by the explosion overpressure Pm, and the rate of pressure rise dP/dtm, two thermo-kinetic parameters determined with a specifically developed control system and custom software. Nonetheless, a noticeable difference in the ignition sensitivity and the explosion severity was perceived when changing suppliers or petroleum cuts of some fuels. Moreover, sensitivity studies showed that both the droplet size distribution and the temperature of the droplets play a significant role in fuel mist explosion. These parameters can be directly related to the vapor fraction surrounding a droplet during its ignition. Consequently, this study focuses on the influence of varying the composition of three well-known and abundantly used fuels. Different petroleum cuts were introduced in different fractions into isooctane, Jet A1 aviation fuel, and diesel fuel mixtures which were then aerosolized into a uniformly distributed turbulent mist cloud and ignited using spark ignitors of 100 J. Subsequently, the same tests were executed in a vertical flame propagation tube coupled with a high-speed video camera allowing the visualization of the flame and the determination of the spatial flame velocity, and estimation of the laminar burning velocity. The latter was also estimated from the pressure-time evolution in the 20 L sphere using existing correlations. Indeed, the determination of the laminar burning velocity can be useful in modeling such accidents. Finally, highlighting the essential role of the mist and vapor fraction during their ignition has led to a better understanding of their explosion mechanisms.
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ineris-03975699 , version 1 (17-04-2023)



Stéphanie El-Zahlanieh, Amélie Jean, Alexis Vignes, Olivier Dufaud. The role of vapor fraction in hydrocarbon mist explosion. 14th International Symposium on Hazards, Prevention, and Mitigation of Industrial Explosions (ISHPMIE 2022), Jul 2022, Braunschweig, Germany. pp.404-416, ⟨10.7795/810.20221124⟩. ⟨ineris-03975699⟩
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