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Investigation of Accidents at Oil-Processing Plants


Experimental and Computation-Theoretical Investigations of an Accident at an Oil-Chemical Plant Safety

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-MRA/Modelling and Risk Assessment/Environment

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Malakhov Yu I

Leading Institute
VNIITF, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Snezhinsk


  • Université de Poitiers / Laboratoire de Combustion et de Détonique, France, Futuroscope\nEuropean Commission / Joint Research Center, Belgium, Brussels\nUniversity of Leeds, UK, Leeds\nFraunhofer Institute Chemische Technologie, Germany, Pfinztal\nUniversité de Poitiers / Laboratoire de Combustion et de Détonique, France, Futuroscope\nUniversity of Wales, UK, Aberystwyth

Project summary

The analysis of accident statistics at oil-refining plants shows that the significant part of the accidents is realized under explosions of vapour clouds consisting of hydrocarbon fuels. A special hazard of the considered explosions and their insufficient study are the cause of their choice as an object of experimental investigations in the given Project with regard for availability of specialists in this field and conditions for performing work.

The main goal of the present project is to obtain systematic experimental results on the dynamics of basic stages of spontaneous detonation in lean propane-air mixtures between well as to create verified model of spontaneous detonation whose development begins from inhomogenions area where initial reagents are mixed with hot combustion products.

The second goal is the performance of some demonstrative large scale experiments on the development of spontaneous detonation into free near-ground lean propane-air clouds from field of mixiture with hot combustion products.

The following tasks are solved in the project:

• The detonability of lean propane-air compositions is studied experimentally by/after uniform mixing with hot combustion products in the whole investicated volume. The effects of propane concentration (2 - 6 % vol.), combustion products amount (0-50% vol.), and existance time for mixture with combustion products (0.1 me - Ic) will be studied. The critical parameters of shock initiation and detonation cell dimensions will be measured.

• Spontaneous detonation evolution is investigated in mixtures of initial reactants with hot combustion products through creation of gradients for products concentration (0 — 10%/m) and time of their existance in mixture (0 — Imc/m). Formation condition of coupled shock-reaction structure will be determined.

• Detonation transmission to the field of initial reactant from area with hot combustion products is experimentally studied. The relation of the oneset of spontaneous detonation with mixture zone properties shall be ascertained.

• The model of spontaneous detonation evolution is being developed for lean propane-air compositions in case of nonhomogeneons zone of mixture with hot combustion products is formed. This model will be verified using of obtained experimental date.


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