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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021 / D4.1 Explosive risk and fire module

Ludovic Lepers, Laurent Aprin, and Sébastien Legrand (2021)

D4.1 Explosive risk and fire module

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, MANIFESTS project report(D4.1).

Responding to maritime accidents can be extremely challenging when involving HNS that behave as evaporators. Due to their potential to form toxic or combustible clouds, evidence-based decisions are needed to protect the crew, responders, the coastal population and the environment. However, when an emergency is declared, key information is not always available for all the needs of responders. A case in point is the lack of knowledge and data to assess the risks that responders or rescue teams could take when intervening, or those that could impact coastal communities when allowing a shipping casualty to dock at a place of refuge. The MANIFESTS project aims to address these uncertainties and improve response and training capacities through the development of an operational decision-support system (DSS) for volatile HNS spills. Besides management and communication, the project includes four other work packages: WP2 on collecting new data on evaporators, WP3 on table top exercises and field training, WP4 on improving modelling tools and WP5 on the development of the DSS. Key expected outcomes include: · Operational guidance; · Desktop and field exercises; · In situ training; · Experimental data on gas cloud fate; · A brand-new fire and explosion modelling module; · Improved HNS database with new experimental data on evaporation/dissolution kinetics. This report presents the results obtained in the framework of the task 4.1 aiming at developing tools that would help responders to asses risks in case of explosion and of fire of volatile HNS. The fire module computes the energy flux as a function of the distance to the fire source. It is useful to assess the safety distance at which e.g. a boat can approach a fire while keeping the crew safe. The energy flux can cause burning to people, and start new fire. The burning rate is also estimated. The explosion module computes the overpressure of the shockwave caused by the combustion of a chemical. This overpressure can be very dangerous for people and structure, causing wounds from minor injury to death and destruction of building. The model could be used to predict what could happen in case of the explosion of a stored explosive for instance. The two models are simplifications of the reality and do not take everything into account. Their results can be useful to have a rough idea of what could happen in open sea but should always be interpreted keeping the model hypotheses and limitations in mind. Due to the sensitivity of the topic, the source code of both modules is not made available to public
Report, Open Access, PDF available
Models, fire, numerical modelling, Modelling