Study of the Effects of Obstacles in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Vapor Dispersion using CFD Modeling

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Ruiz Vasquez, Roberto
LNG; dispersion modeling; CFD; safety distance
thesis / dissertation description
The evaluation of the potential hazards related with the operation of an LNG terminal includes possible release scenarios with the consequent flammable vapor dispersion within the facility; therefore, it is important to know the behavior of this phenomenon through the application of advanced simulation tools. Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) tools are often used to estimate the exclusion zones in an event of accidental LNG spill. In practice these releases are more likely to occur in the confines of complex geometries with solid obstacles such as LNG terminals, and LNG processing plants. The objective of this research is to study the effects that different obstacles have over the LNG vapor dispersion and the safety distance reduction caused by enhanced mixing. Through parametric analysis it is demonstrated that height, width and shape of the obstacles play an important role in the vapor concentration reduction. The findings of this research may be applied in the design stage of an LNG terminal, to improve the design of passive barriers, and for designing better layout configurations for storage tanks. Simulations results performed with FLACS (Flame Acceleration Simulator), a CFD solver, confirmed that these applications help to reduce safety distances.