Risk Assessment of Vapor Cloud Explosions in a Hydrogen Production Facility with Consequence Modeling

Esmaeil Zarei, Mohammad Javad Jafari, Naser Badri

Abstract


Background: New technologies using hazardous materials usually have certain risks. It is more serious when the technology is supposed to be applied in a large scale and become widely used by many people. The objective of this paper was to evaluate the risk of vapor cloud explosion in a hydrogen production process.

Methods: Potential hazards were identified using the conventional hazard identification method (HAZID). The frequency of the proposed scenarios was estimated from statistical data and existing records. The PHAST professional software was applied for consequence modeling. Both individual and societal risks were evaluated. This cross-sectional study was conducted from June 2010 to December 2011 in a Hydrogen Production Plant in Tehran.

Results: The full bore rupture in heat exchanger had the highest harm effect distance. The full bore rupture in desulphurization reactor had the highest (57% of total) individual risk. Full bore rupture in heat exchanger was the highest contributor to social risk. It carried 64% & 66.7% of total risk in day and night respectively.

Conclusions: For the sake of safety, mitigation measures should be implemented on heat exchanger, reformer and hydrogen purification absorbers. The main proposed risk reductive measures included; the increasing of installed equipment elevation, the application of smaller vessels and pipes.


Keywords


Risk assessment; Explosion; Hydrogen; Modeling

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