Industrial System for Chemical Inhibition of Vapor Cloud Explosions
Roosendans, Dirk
Hoorelbeke, Pol
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How to Cite

Roosendans D., Hoorelbeke P., 2019, Industrial System for Chemical Inhibition of Vapor Cloud Explosions, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 77, 979-984.
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The oil industry operates installations and processes with important quantities of flammable substances within a wide range of pressures and temperatures. A particular hazard for this type of installations is an accidental release of a large quantity of flammable material resulting in the formation of a flammable cloud within the installation. Historical evidence has shown that the ignition of such a cloud can lead to an explosion producing shockwaves with enough energy to cause substantial physical damage to process plants and equipment and even lead to a total destruction of the installation. Such accidents are commonly named Vapor Cloud Explosions (VCE). According to Marsh (Marsh, 2016), Vapor Cloud Explosions account for the greatest frequency of losses in the energy sector. A new technology was developed for inhibition of Vapor Cloud Explosions, based on chemical inhibition using dry powders of carbonates or bicarbonates of sodium or potassium. The efficiency of the final design of the VCE mitigation system was tested on a very large scale in Vapor Cloud Explosion tests in California (US) in September 2016. A first implementation of the inhibition system is foreseen in the near future as part of a new cracker units in South-Korea and the United States.
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