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An Innovative and Comprehensive Approach for the Consequence Analysis of Liquid Hydrogen Vessel Explosions


Hydrogen is one of the most suitable solutions to replace hydrocarbons in the future. Hydrogen consumption is expected to grow in the next years. Hydrogen liquefaction is one of the processes that allows for increase of hydrogen density and it is suggested when a large amount of substance must be stored or transported. Despite being a clean fuel, its chemical and physical properties often arise concerns about the safety of the hydrogen technologies. A potentially critical scenario for the liquid hydrogen (LH2) tanks is the catastrophic rupture causing a consequent boiling liquid expanding vapour explosion (BLEVE), with consequent overpressure, fragments projection and eventually a fireball. In this work, all the BLEVE consequence typologies are evaluated through theoretical and analytical models. These models are validated with the experimental results provided by the BMW care manufacturer safety tests conducted during the 1990’s. After the validation, the most suitable methods are selected to perform a blind prediction study of the forthcoming LH2 BLEVE experiments of the Safe Hydrogen fuel handling and Use for Efficient Implementation (SH2IFT) project. The models drawbacks together with the uncertainties and the knowledge gap in LH2 physical explosions are highlighted. Finally, future works on the modelling activity of the LH2 BLEVE are suggested.

Funding source: This work was undertaken as part of the research project Safe Hydrogen fuel handling and Use for Efficient Implementation (SH2IFT), and the authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Research Council of Norway under the ENERGIX programme (Grant No. 280964).
Related subjects: Safety
Countries: Italy ; Norway

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