Research Papers

How Does Concrete Affect Evaporation of Cryogenic Liquids: Evaluating Liquefied Natural Gas Plant Safety

[+] Author and Article Information
Alfonso Ibarreta

Exponent, Inc.,
9 Strathmore Road, Natick 01760, MA
e-mail: aibarreta@exponent.com

Ryan J. Hart

Exponent, Inc.,
4580 Weaver Parkway, Suite 100, Warrenville 60555, IL
e-mail: rhart@exponent.com

Nicolas Ponchaut

Exponent, Inc.,
9 Strathmore Road, Natick 01760, MA
e-mail: nponchaut@exponent.com

Delmar “Trey” Morrison

Exponent, Inc.,
4580 Weaver Parkway, Suite 100, Warrenville 60555, IL
e-mail: tmorrison@exponent.com

Harri Kytömaa

Exponent, Inc.,
9 Strathmore Road, Natick 01760, MA
e-mail: hkytomaa@exponent.com

Manuscript received February 18, 2015; final manuscript received June 5, 2015; published online November 20, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Chimba Mkandawire.

ASME J. Risk Uncertainty Part B 2(1), 011005 (Nov 20, 2015) (5 pages) Paper No: RISK-15-1023; doi: 10.1115/1.4030947 History: Received February 18, 2015; Accepted June 29, 2015

With the impending natural gas boom in the United States, many companies are pursuing Department of Energy (DOE) approval for exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG), which is a cryogenic liquid. The next decade also promises to demonstrate growth in LNG-fueled fleets of vehicles and marine vessels, as well as growth in other natural gas uses. The future expansion in the LNG infrastructure will lead to an increased focus on managing the risks associated with spills of LNG. Risk analysis involving LNG spill scenarios and their consequences requires determining the size of resulting ignitable flammable vapor clouds. This in turn depends strongly on the rate of evaporation of the spilled LNG. The evaporation of a cryogenic LNG spill (and thus the flammable vapor cloud hazard) can be quite a complex process, and it is primarily controlled by the rate of spreading of the pool and by the transient conductive heat transfer from the ground to the spilled liquid. Radiative and convective heat transfer are also present, but the conductive heat transfer rate dominates in the evaporation of a cryogenic liquid spilled into a trench or sump initially at ambient temperature. The time-dependent evaporation rate can be calculated using a variety of models, such as the built-in model in PHAST Det Norske Veritas (DNV) or other proprietary models that account for pool spreading, heat conduction within the substrate, and phase change. Trenches and sumps used to contain LNG spills are normally lined with various types of concrete, including insulated or aerated concrete. The authors have found that for a cryogenic liquid, the choice of thermal properties for concrete can greatly affect the source term. This paper presents a sensitivity study of the effects of substrate properties on the evaporation rate of LNG. The study will look at the dependence for a range of sump diameters. The PHAST model results will be compared to results obtained using an in-house shallow water equation (SWE) liquid propagation and heat transfer model. The results of the paper will provide guidance for the selection of substrate properties during modeling as well as a comparison of the relative evaporation rates expected for different surfaces, such as regular concrete and insulated concrete.

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Ponchaut, N. F., Kytömaa, H. K., Morrison, D. R., and Chernovsky, M. K., 2011, “Modeling the Vapor Source Term Associated With the Spill of LNG Into a Sump or Impoundment Area,” JLPP, 24(6), pp. 870–878 10.1016/j.jlp.2011.06.020.
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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Block diagram for PHAST

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Fig. 2

PHAST vaporization model results for the four substrate types and two circular sump impoundment diameters (10 and 20 ft). The spill rate was 20  lb/s and originated in the center of the impoundment

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Comparison of vaporization rates calculated using the PHAST and SWE models for the 10-ft diameter sump

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Peak evaporation rates for all cases considered as a function of the lumped thermal parameter κ/α1/2

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Normalized evaporated amount after 2 mins as a function of the lumped thermal parameter κ/α1/2




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