Fire Exposure and Relief Protection for Vessels Containing Reactive Chemicals Case Study


The Challenge

The client was storing reactive materials in vessels that could be subject to fire exposure. They wanted to be sure that the relief protection on the vessels was correctly sized, or if not, what changes were necessary for an effective relief system.

Our Approach

Reactive systems present additional degrees of complexity. The reactive characteristics of the material should be well understood by the ERS designer, including the potential for reacting with itself, decomposing, rearranging, or reacting with contaminants such as water, air, rust, and other materials that could be present in the system. Also, all reactions that could occur should be identified, and the kinetics of these reactions should be determined either by experiment or through trusted literature sources. Lastly, the characteristics of the vessel contents must be known so that two-phase flow methods may be utilized as deemed appropriate.

Using Process Safety Office® SuperChems™ and reaction kinetic data supplied by the client, ioMosaic performed dynamic simulations of the vessels and the relief valves containing the reactive materials. From the simulations, plots of the internal pressures and temperatures of the vessels were calculated. For some vessels, due to exposure to the heat input from the fire, the internal temperature could get high enough to cause a runaway reaction. For these vessels, additional dynamic simulations were conducted to determine the effects of adding fireproof insulation or increasing the relief valve size.

The Benefits

From the dynamic simulations made, ioMosaic was able to advise the client on the most economical approach to obtain an effective emergency relief system. Full documentation of the work was provided for their PSM files.

Learn More

Our mission is to help you protect your people, your plant, your stakeholder value and our planet. To learn more about how we can help you manage risk, call us at 1.844.ioMosaic.