Inderscience Publishers

Investigation of an LPG accident with different mathematical model applications

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An LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) storage accident was reconstructed through several simulation models, with the aims of the reported and filmed effects and damage. The accident happened in Paese, near Treviso (Italy) in March 1996 and was characterised by complex phenomena due to a choked release of LPG from a tanker. There was a dispersion of light winds and, after about 40 minutes, a flash-fire throughout followed by a transient jet release and BLEVE (boiling-liquid-expanding-vapour explosion). The evolution of these phenomena was studied by application of some available models. The primary purpose of these applications was to check the possible use and the efficiency of the simulation models using comparisons and evidence on the dynamics of the accident. Another purpose was to get more detailed information on the dynamics of the accident. The work was done in collaboration with the Fire Brigade of Rovigo, the University of Padova and ARTES (consulting on risk analysis - Mirano - Venezia). Complex situations, such as the dispersion of heavy gas in a semi-confined area, with light winds and variable atmospheric stabilities, prolonged time of release with different types of flow, various types of fire (flash fire, transient jet fire, BLEVE and fireball) were simulated with adaptations of models or input to obtain realistic results.

Keywords: liquefied petroleum gas, accident, simulation models, gas dispersion, BLEVE

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