Anda di halaman 1dari 24


CPE 615
EH220 6B







Vapor Cloud Explosion Model
The explosion resulting from the ignition of a cloud of flammable vapor, gas, or mist in which
flame speeds accelerate to sufficiently high velocities to produce significant overpressure.

Formula :

1. TNT equivalency method

𝑚 𝑇𝑁𝑇 =
TNT equivalent is a convention for 𝐸𝑇𝑁𝑇

expressing energy, typically used to describe Where:

the energy released in an explosion.
𝑚 𝑇𝑁𝑇 - equivalent mass of TNT

𝜇 - empirical explosion eficiency

𝑚 - mass of hydrocarbon

∆𝐻𝑐 -energy of explosion (heat of combustion)

𝐸𝑇𝑁𝑇 -energy of explosion of TNT (4686 kJ/kg)

Formula :

2. Estimation of overpressure

𝑧𝑒 = 1
𝑚 𝑇𝑁𝑇 3


𝑚 𝑇𝑁𝑇 - equivalent mass of TNT

Characteristic Description

A boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion (BLEVE) is

an explosion caused by the rupture of a vessel containing
a pressurized liquid above its boiling point.

There are three characteristics of liquids which are relevant to the

discussion of a BLEVE:
1. If a liquid in a sealed container is boiled, the pressure inside the
Mechanism container increases. As the liquid changes to a gas it expands - this
expansion in a vented container would cause the gas and liquid to
take up more space.

2. The boiling temperature of a liquid is dependent on pressure - high

pressures will yield high boiling temperatures, and low pressures
will yield low boiling temperatures. A common simple experiment is
to place a cup of water in a vacuum chamber, and then reduce the
pressure in the chamber until the water boils.

3. When a liquid boil it turns into a gas. The resulting gas takes up far
more space than the liquid did.

 Water example

For example, a tank of pressurized liquid water held at 204.4 °C (400 °F)
might be pressurized to 1.7 MPa (250 psi) above atmospheric ("gauge")
pressure. If the tank containing the water were to rupture, there would for a
brief moment exist a volume of liquid water which would be at

 atmospheric pressure, and a

 temperature of 204.4 °C (400 °F).

At atmospheric pressure the boiling point of water is 100 °C (212 °F) -
liquid water at atmospheric pressure does not exist at temperatures higher
than 100 °C (212 °F). At that moment, the water would boil and turn to
vapor explosively, and the 204.4 °C (400 °F) liquid water turned to gas
would take up significantly more volume (~22-fold) than it did as liquid,
causing a vapor explosion. Such explosions can happen when the
superheated water of a steam engine escapes through a crack in a boiler,
causing a boiler explosion.

 BLEVEs without chemical reactions

A BLEVE need not be a chemical explosion nor does there need to be a

fire however if a flammable substance is subject to a BLEVE it may also be
subject to intense heating, either from an external source of heat which
may have caused the vessel to rupture in the first place or from an internal
source of localized heating such as skin friction. This heating can cause a
flammable substance to ignite, adding a secondary explosion caused by
the primary BLEVE. While blast effects of any BLEVE can be devastating,
a flammable substance such as propane can add significantly to the
Fires  BLEVEs can be caused by an external fire near the storage vessel
causing heating of the contents and pressure build-up.

 While tanks are often designed to withstand great pressure,

constant heating can cause the metal to weaken and eventually
fail. If the tank is being heated in an area where there is no liquid, it
may rupture faster without the liquid to absorb the heat.

 Gas containers are usually equipped with relief valves that vent off
excess pressure, but the tank can still fail if the pressure is not
released quickly enough.

 Relief valves are sized to release pressure fast enough to prevent

the pressure from increasing beyond the strength of the vessel, but
not so fast as to be the cause of an explosion.

 An appropriately sized relief valve will allow the liquid inside to boil
slowly, maintaining a constant pressure in the vessel until all the
liquid has boiled and the vessel empties.

 The term "BLEVE" was coined by three researchers at Factory

Mutual, in the analysis of an accident there in 1957 involving a
chemical reactor vessel. Anthony Santos was one of the Chemical
Engineers working at FM who coined the term.

 In August 1959 the Kansas City Fire Department suffered its 2nd
largest loss of life in the line of duty, when a 25,000 gallon (95,000
litre) gas tank exploded during a fire on Southwest Boulevard killing
five firefighters. This was the first time BLEVE was used to
describe a burning fuel tank.
Outflow Model
Types of Outflow Models

1. Flow of Mechanical energy balance describes the various energy forms associated with
liquid flowing fluids:
through a
𝑑𝑃 𝑢̅2 𝑔 𝑊𝑠
hole ∫ + ∆( ) + ∆𝑧 + 𝐹 = −
𝜌 2𝛼𝑔𝑐 𝑔𝑐 𝑚̇


P: Pressure (force/area)

𝜌: Fluid density (mass/volume)

𝑢̅: Average instantaneous velocity of the fluid (length/time)

𝑔𝑐 : Gravitational constant (length mass/force time2)

𝛼: Unitless velocity profile correction factor with the following values:

𝛼=0.5 (laminar flow); 𝛼=1.0 (plug flow): 𝛼→1.0 (turbulent flow)

g: Acceleration due to gravity (length/time2)

z: Height above datum (length)

F: Net frictional loss term (length force/mass)

W s: Shaft work (force length)

𝑚̇: Mass flow rate (mass/time)

∆ represent final minus initial state

For incompressible liquid, density is constant;

𝑑𝑃 ∆𝑃
∫ =
𝜌 𝜌

For limited aperture release, assume constant gauge pressure,Pg . The external
pressure is atmospheric (ΔP=Pg), work shaft,W s =0, and velocity of the fluid within
the process unit is assumed negligible. The change in elevation of the fluid during
the discharge through the hole is also negligible, Δz=0. Hence, frictional losses in
the leak are approximated by a constant discharge coefficient C1;

∆𝑃 ∆𝑃
− − 𝐹 = 𝐶12 (− )
𝜌 𝜌

After modifications are substituted into mechanical energy balance;

𝑢̅ = 𝐶1 √𝛼√

New discharge coefficient Co = 𝐶1 √𝛼

Figure 3.1: Liquid escaping through a hole in a process unit. The energy og the
liquid resulting from its pressure in the vessel is converted to kinetic energy, with
some frictional flow losses in the hole
For fluid exiting the leak;

2𝑔𝑐 𝑃𝑔
𝑢̅ = 𝐶𝑜 √

From a hole of area A;

𝑄𝑚 = 𝜌𝑢̅𝐴 = 𝐴𝐶𝑜 √2𝜌𝑔𝑐 𝑃𝑔

Co→0.61 (sharp-edge orifices and Re>30000); Co→1 well-rounded nozzle);

Co→0.81 (short section of pipe attached to vessel with length-diameter ratio >3);
Co=1 (if discharge coefficient is unknown or uncertain)

2. Flow of A dimensionless discharge coefficient, C1 defined as;

∆𝑃 𝑔 ∆𝑃 𝑔
through a − − ∆𝑧 − 𝐹 = 𝐶12 (− − ∆𝑧)
𝜌 𝑔𝑐 𝜌 𝑔𝑐
hole in a

𝑔𝑐 𝑃𝑔
𝑢̅ = 𝐶1 √𝛼√2 ( + 𝑔ℎ𝐿 )

Where hL is the liquid height above the leak.

A new discharge coefficient, Co is defined as 𝐶𝑜 = 𝐶1 √𝛼 . Hence,

𝑔𝑐 𝑃𝑔
𝑢̅ = 𝐶𝑜 √2 ( + 𝑔ℎ𝐿 )

From a hole of area A;

𝑔𝑐 𝑃𝑔
𝑄𝑚 = 𝜌𝑢̅𝐴 = 𝜌𝐴𝐶𝑜 √ + 𝑔ℎ𝐿

For tank of constant cross-sectional area,At ,total mass of liquid in the tank above
the leak is 𝑚 = 𝜌𝐴𝑡 ℎ𝐿 .

Rate of change of mass within the tank is;

= −𝑄𝑚

Change in the fluid height is;

𝑑ℎ𝐿 𝐶𝑜 𝐴 𝑔𝑐 𝑃𝑔
=− √2 ( + 𝑔ℎ𝐿 )
𝑑𝑡 𝐴𝑡 𝜌

𝑑ℎ𝐿 𝐶𝑜 𝐴 𝑡
∫ =− ∫ 𝑑𝑡
ℎ𝐿𝑜 𝐴𝑡 0
𝑔𝑐 𝑃𝑔
√2 + 2𝑔ℎ𝐿

1 𝑔𝑐 𝑃𝑔 1 𝑔𝑐 𝑃𝑔 𝐶𝑜 𝐴
√2 + 2𝑔ℎ𝐿 − √2 + 2𝑔ℎ𝐿𝑜 = − 𝑡
𝑔 𝜌 𝑔 𝜌 𝐴𝑡

𝐶𝑜 𝐴 𝑔𝑐 𝑃𝑔 𝑔 𝐶𝑜 𝐴 2
ℎ𝐿 = ℎ𝐿𝑜 − 𝑡√2 + 2𝑔ℎ𝐿𝑜 𝑡 + ( 𝑡)
𝐴𝑡 𝜌 2 𝐴𝑡

Mass discharge rate at any time is;

𝑔𝑐 𝑃𝑔 𝜌𝑔𝐶𝑜2 𝐴2
𝑄𝑚 = 𝜌𝐶𝑜 𝐴√2 ( + 2𝑔ℎ𝐿𝑜 ) − 𝑡
𝜌 𝐴𝑡

Time,tc for the vessel to empty to the level of the leak;

1 𝐴𝑡 𝑔𝑐 𝑃𝑔 2𝑔𝑐 𝑃𝑔
𝑡𝑐 = ( ) [√2 ( + 2𝑔ℎ𝐿𝑜 ) − √ ]
𝐶𝑜 𝑔 𝐴 𝜌 𝜌

At atmospheric pressure, Pg=0. Hence;

1 𝐴𝑡
𝑡𝑐 = ( ) √2𝑔ℎ𝐿𝑜
𝐶𝑜 𝑔 𝐴
For a general equation to represent the draining time for any vessel of any
geometry, assume that the head space above the liquid is at atmospheric
pressure. Hence;

𝑑𝑚 𝑑𝑉
=𝜌 = −𝜌𝐴𝐶𝑜 √2𝑔ℎ𝐿
𝑑𝑡 𝑑𝑡
𝑉2 𝑡
1 𝑑𝑉
− ∫ = ∫ 𝑑𝑡
𝐴𝐶𝑜 √2𝑔 𝑉1 √ℎ𝐿 0

1 𝑑𝑉
𝑡= ∫
𝐴𝐶𝑜 √2𝑔 𝑉1 √ℎ𝐿

𝜋𝐷 2
For vessel with the shape of vertical cylinder, 𝑑𝑉 = 4
𝑑ℎ𝐿 . Hence;

𝜋𝐷 2 𝑑ℎ𝐿
𝑡= ∫
4𝐴𝐶𝑜 √2𝑔 √ℎ𝐿

If the hole is at the bottom of the vessel, the equation above is integrated from
h=0 to h=ho. Hence:

𝜋𝐷 2 2ℎ𝐿𝑜 1 𝜋𝐷 2
𝑡= √ = ( ) √2𝑔ℎ𝐿𝑜
4𝐴𝐶𝑜 𝑔 𝐶𝑜 𝑔 4𝐴
3. Flow of Combination of flow of incompressible liquids through pipes by mechanical
liquids energy balance and incompressible fluid assumption gives;
∆𝑃 ∆𝑢̅2 𝑔 𝑊𝑠
pipes + + ∆𝑧 + 𝐹 = −
𝜌 2𝛼𝑔𝑐 𝑔𝑐 𝑚̇

Where F is the frictional loss.

𝐹 = 𝐾𝑓 ( )

Where Kf : Excess head loss due to the pipe or pipe fitting (dimensionless)

u : fluid velocity (length/time)

Table 3.1: Roughness Factor 𝜀 for Pipes

For fluids flowing through pipes;

𝐾𝑓 =

Where f : Fanning friction factor (unitless)

L: Flow path length (length)

d: Flow path diameter (length)

16 1 1 𝜀 1.255
For laminar flow, 𝑓 = 𝑅𝑒; for turbulent flow, = −4𝑙𝑜𝑔 (3.7 𝑑 + )
√𝑓 𝑅𝑒√𝑓

The Reynolds number from the friction factor is;

1 √𝑓 1 𝜀
= (10−0.25/√𝑓 − )
𝑅𝑒 1.255 3.7 𝑑

Figure 3.2 :Plot of Fanning Friction Factor, f against Reynolds Number,Re

For fully developed turbulent flow in rough pipes, f is independent of the Re as

shown in Figure 3.2. Hence, equation of The Reynolds number from the friction
factor is simplified to;

1 𝑑
= 4𝑙𝑜𝑔 (3.7 )
√𝑓 𝜀

For smooth pipes (𝜀 = 0);

1 𝑅𝑒√𝑓
= 4𝑙𝑜𝑔
√𝑓 1.255
For smooth pipes with Re<100,000;

𝑓 = 0.079𝑅𝑒 −1/4

A single equation has been proposed by Chen to provide the friction factor,f over
the entire range of Reynolds number shown in Figure 3.2. This equation is;

1 𝜀/𝑑 5.0452𝑙𝑜𝑔𝐴
= −4𝑙𝑜𝑔 ( − )
√𝑓 3.7065 𝑅𝑒


(𝜀/𝑑)1.1098 5.8506
𝐴=[ + 0.8981 ]
2.8257 𝑅𝑒

2-K Method

𝐾1 1
𝐾𝑓 = + 𝐾∞ (1 + )
𝑅𝑒 𝐼𝐷𝑖𝑛𝑐ℎ𝑒𝑠

Where; Kf : Excess head loss (dimensionless)

K1 and 𝐾∞ : constants (dimensionless)

IDinches : Internal diameter of the flow path (inches)

Table 3.2: 2-K Constants for Loss Coefficient in Fittings and Valves
For pipe entrances and exit, equation of this method is modified;

𝐾𝑓 = + 𝐾∞

For pipe entrances, K1=160 and 𝐾∞ =0.50 for normal entrances. For a Borda-type
pipe connection to a tank where the pipe sticks up into the bottom of the tank a
short distance, 𝐾∞ =1.0. For pipe exits, K1=0 and 𝐾∞ =1.0.

For high Reynolds number (Re>10,000), Kf=𝐾∞ . For low Reynolds number
(Re<50), Kf= K1/Re.

In 2-K Method, the discharge coefficient for liquid discharge through a hole is:

𝐶𝑜 =
√1 + ∑ 𝐾𝑓

For a simple hole in a tank with no pipe connections or fittings the friction is
caused only by the entrance and exit effects of the hole. For Reynolds numbers
greater than 10,000, Kf = 0.5 for the entrance and Kf = 1.0 for the exit. Thus Σ Kf
= 1.5, and from Equation 4-40, Co = 0.63, which nearly matches the suggested
value of 0.61.

4. Flow of Assuming negligible potential energy changes and no shaft work results in a
gases or reduced form of the mechanical energy balance describing compressible flow
vapors through holes:
𝑑𝑃 𝑢̅2
holes ∫ + ∆( )+𝐹 =0
𝜌 2𝛼𝑔𝑐

Figure 3.3: A free expansion gas leak. The gas expands isentropically through the
hole. The gas properties (P, T) and velocity change during the expansion.
A discharge coefficient is defined as;

𝑑𝑃 𝑑𝑃
−∫ − 𝐹 = 𝐶12 (− ∫ )
𝜌 𝜌

Combining mechanical energy balance and discharge coefficient gives;

𝑑𝑃 𝑢̅2
𝐶12 ∫ + =0
𝑃𝑜 𝜌 2𝛼𝑔𝑐

For any ideal gas undergoing an isentropic expansion,

𝑃𝑣 𝛾 = = 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑡

where γ is the ratio of the heat capacities, γ = Cp /Cv.

The velocity of the fluid at any point during the isentropic expansion;

𝛾 𝑃𝑜 𝑃 𝛾
𝑢̅2 = 2𝑔𝑐 𝐶𝑜2 [1 − ( ) ]
𝛾 − 1 𝜌𝑜 𝑃𝑜

2𝑔𝑐 𝐶𝑜2 𝑅𝑔 𝑇𝑜 𝛾 𝑃 (𝛾−1)/𝛾

= [1 − ( ) ]
𝑀 𝛾−1 𝑃𝑜

Where Rg is the ideal gas constant, and To is the temperature of the source.
Using the continuity equation,

𝑄𝑚 = 𝜌𝑢̅𝐴

𝑃 1/𝛾
Where 𝜌 = 𝜌𝑜 (𝑃 ) . Hence ;

2𝑔𝑐 𝑀 𝛾 𝑃 2/𝛾 𝑃 (𝛾+1)/𝛾

𝑄𝑚 = 𝐶𝑜 𝐴𝑃𝑜 √ [( ) − ( ) ]
𝑅𝑔 𝑇𝑜 𝛾 − 1 𝑃𝑜 𝑃𝑜

For many safety studies the maximum flow rate of vapor through the hole is
require. This is determine by differentiating equation above with respect to P/Po
and setting the derivative equal to zero. The result is solved for the pressure ratio
resulting in the maximum flow:

𝑃𝑐ℎ𝑜𝑐𝑘𝑒𝑑 2 𝛾/(𝛾−1)
=( )
𝑃𝑜 𝛾+1

Where the choked pressure Pchoked is the maximum downstream pressure

resulting in maximum flow through the hole or pipe.

Table 3.3: Value of Pchoked and 𝛾 for different types of gas

Pchoked = 14.7 psia (air leak to atmospheric condition)

For maximum flow;

𝛾𝑔𝑐 𝑀 2 (𝛾+1)/(𝛾−1)
(𝑄𝑚 )𝑐ℎ𝑜𝑐𝑘𝑒𝑑 = 𝐶𝑜 𝐴𝑃𝑜 √ ( )
𝑅𝑔 𝑇𝑜 𝛾 + 1


M: Molecular weight of the escaping vapor or gas

To: Temperature of the source

Rg: ideal gas constant

Table 3.4: Heat Capacity Ratios, 𝛾 for Selected Gases

5. Flow of For both the isothermal and adiabatic cases it is convenient to define a Mach
gases or (Ma) number as the ratio of the gas velocity to the velocity of sound in the gas at
vapors the prevailing conditions:
pipes 𝑀𝑎 =

where a is the velocity of sound;

𝑎 = √𝑔𝑐 ( )
𝜕𝜌 𝑠

For ideal gas, 𝑎 = √𝛾𝑔𝑐 𝑅𝑔 𝑇/𝑀

Adiabatic Flows

Mechanical energy balance that applies to adiabatic flows;

𝑑𝑃 𝑢̅𝑑𝑢̅ 𝑔 𝛿𝑊𝑠
+ + 𝑑𝑧 + 𝑑𝐹 = −
𝜌 𝛼𝑔𝑐 𝑔𝑐 𝑚

𝑑𝑧 ≈ 0

Assuming a straight pipe without any valves or fitting,

2𝑓𝑢̅2 𝑑𝐿
𝑑𝐹 =
𝑔𝑐 𝑑

Because no mechanical linkages are present, 𝛿𝑊𝑠 = 0.

For this open steady flow process the total energy balance is given by

𝑢̅𝑑𝑢̅ 𝑔 𝛿𝑊𝑠
𝑑ℎ + + 𝑑𝑧 = 𝛿𝑞 −
𝛼𝑔𝑐 𝑔𝑐 𝑚

where h is the enthalpy of the gas and q is the heat. The following assumptions
are invoked:

dh = Cp dT for an ideal gas,

g/gc dz ≈ 0 is valid for gases,

δq = 0 because the pipe is adiabatic,

δW s = 0 because no mechanical linkages are present.

where G is the mass flux with units of mass/(area-time) and

For chocked flow where Ma2=1.0;

For ideal gas flow the mass flow for both sonic and nonsonic conditions is
represented by the Darcy formula;

𝑚 2𝑔𝑐 𝜌1 (𝑃1 − 𝑃2 )
𝐺= = 𝑌𝑔 √
𝐴 ∑ 𝐾𝑓


G: Mass flux (mass/area-time),

𝑚̇: Mass flow rate of gas (mass/time),

A: Area of the discharge (length2),

Yg: Gas expansion factor (unitless),

gc: Gravitational constant (force/mass-acceleration),

ρ1: Upstream gas density (mass/volume),

P1: Upstream gas pressure (force/area),

P2: Downstream gas pressure (force/area),

ΣKf: Excess head loss terms, including pipe entrances and exits, pipe lengths,
and fittings (unitless)

𝛾 ∑ 𝐾𝑓 𝑃1
𝑌𝑔 = 𝑀𝑎1 √ ( )
2 𝑃1 − 𝑃2

where Ma1 is the upstream Mach number.

Table 3.5: Correlations for the Expansion Factor Yg and the Sonic Pressure Drop
Ratio (P1 – P2 )/P1 as a Function of the Pipe Loss ΣK for Adiabatic Flow
Isothermal Flows

Assume 𝑔 𝑑𝑧 ≈ 0,

2𝑓𝑢̅2 𝑑𝐿
𝑑𝐹 =
𝑔𝑐 𝑑

Assume constant f,

𝛿𝑊𝑠 = 0

where G is the mass flux with units of mass/(area-time), and

In terms of the Mach number the maximum velocity is ;

𝑀𝑎𝑐ℎ𝑜𝑐𝑘𝑒𝑑 =
This result is shown by starting with the mechanical energy balance and
rearranging it into the following form:

𝑑𝑃 2𝑓𝐺 2 1 2𝑓𝐺 2 1
− = [ 2 ] = ( )
𝑑𝐿 𝑔𝑐 𝜌𝑑 𝑢̅ 𝜌 𝑔𝑐 𝜌𝑑 1 − 𝛾𝑀𝑎2
1 − (𝑔 𝑃)

The quantity –(dP/dL) → ∞ when Ma→1/√𝛾.

For choked flow in an isothermal pipe,

where Gchoked is the mass flux with units of mass/(area-time), and

1 1 4𝑓𝐿
𝑙𝑛 ( 2) − ( 2 − 1) + 𝑑 = 0
𝛾𝑀𝑎1 𝛾𝑀𝑎1

𝑚̇ 𝑔𝑐 𝜌1 𝑃1
𝐺= =√
𝑎 ∑𝐾

Table 3.6: Correlations for the Expansion Factor Yg and the Sonic Pressure Drop
Ratio (P1 – P2 )/P1 as a Function of the Pipe Loss ΣK for Isothermal Flow