Fire Exposure and Relief Protection for Vessels Containing Reactive Chemicals

The Challenge

The client was storing reactive materials in vessels that could be subject to fire exposure. They wanted to ensure that the relief protection on these vessels was correctly sized and well documented, and if not, what changes were required to ensure 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.

The ioKinetic team performed dynamic simulations of the vessels and relief valves carrying the reactive ingredients, using our partner ioMosaic Corporation's software program Process Safety Office® SuperChems™ and the reaction kinetic data provided by the client. Plots depicting the internal pressures and temperatures of the vessels were calculated from the simulations. 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

The data on the client's existing pressure relief devices was collected and full electronic documentation of the work was delivered. From the dynamic simulations made, ioKinetic was able to advise them on the most economical approach to obtain an effective emergency relief system that met the Federal regulation requirements of OSHA 13 and EPA RMP 14.

Learn More

ioKinetic has reduced process safety risk, maintained compliance and substantially increased peace of mind for our clients worldwide. To learn more about how we can help you manage risk, contact us today or call us at 1-844-ioKinetic.