Aim: The aim of this article is to analyse fire and explosion properties of LNG along with the identification of hazards that may arise during emergency incidents involving it. The article is based on an analysis of the available literature and a full-scale experimental study involving a 200-liter LNG tank leading to a jet fire.
Introduction: Safe use and proper transport of flammable and harmful substances, together with the analysis of the effects of threats, enable the reduction of the number of accidents and provide possible conditions for the evacuation of people and property in a hazard zone. The compilation and systematization of knowledge on the safe use of the environmentally friendly LNG fuel will allow for an increase in the scope of its use. It is consistent with the state’s sustainable development policy consisting in identifying threats or adjusting technical solutions that minimize losses in transport or industry.
Methodology: There are many legal acts in the world regarding safe storage and transport of LNG. One of the most important is Directive 2012/18/EC known as “Seveso III”. This document contains requirements for the prevention of major accidents involving hazardous substances – including LNG – and ways to reduce their negative effects on human health and the environment. Relevant requirements have also been specified in standards, tests, articles and other international acts, including in the European agreement on the international carriage of dangerous goods by road (the so-called ADR Agreement). The article compares flammable and explosive parameters of LNG. Possible scenarios occurring during the release and ignition of the LNG vapour cloud have been shown. The change of pressure of LNG vapour in the 200 l tank as a function of its heating time in the burning spill of a mixture of gasoline and diesel fuel is presented. In such a thermal exposure, a jet fire with a flame length of up to 5 meters was obtained.
Conclusions: The proper use of flammable gases should be a priority in ensuring fire and explosion safety in facilities, during transport, etc. Hence, recognizing the threats and comparing them, or matching technical solutions that minimize the effects of LNG failures will allow active inclusion of knowledge in this field in the process of protection against fire and explosion. In case of LNG storage, attention should be paid to the types of materials in the immediate vicinity of this liquefied gas in order to have sufficient mechanical properties at the lowest liquefied gas temperature.
Keywords: LNG, fire safety, process safety
Type of article: review article