Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) based approach to consequence assessment of accidental release of hydrocarbon during storage and transportation

Jujuly, Muhammad Masum (2016) Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) based approach to consequence assessment of accidental release of hydrocarbon during storage and transportation. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This thesis investigated the risk of accidental release of hydrocarbons during transportation and storage. Transportation of hydrocarbons from an offshore platform to processing units through subsea pipelines involves risk of release due to pipeline leakage resulting from corrosion, plastic deformation caused by seabed shakedown or damaged by contact with drifting iceberg. The environmental impacts of hydrocarbon dispersion can be severe. Overall safety and economic concerns of pipeline leakage at subsea environment are immense. A large leak can be detected by employing conventional technology such as, radar, intelligent pigging or chemical tracer but in a remote location like subsea or arctic, a small chronic leak may be undetected for a period of time. In case of storage, an accidental release of hydrocarbon from the storage tank could lead pool fire; further it could escalate to domino effects. This chain of accidents may lead to extremely severe consequences. Analyzing past accident scenarios it is observed that more than half of the industrial domino accidents involved fire as a primary event, and some other factors for instance, wind speed and direction, fuel type and engulfment of the compound. In this thesis, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) approach is taken to model the subsea pipeline leak and the pool fire from a storage tank. A commercial software package ANSYS FLUENT Workbench 15 is used to model the subsea pipeline leakage. The CFD simulation results of four different types of fluids showed that the static pressure and pressure gradient along the axial length of the pipeline have a sharp signature variation near the leak orifice at steady state condition. Transient simulation is performed to obtain the acoustic signature of the pipe near leak orifice. The power spectral density (PSD) of acoustic signal is strong near the leak orifice and it dissipates as the distance and orientation from the leak orifice increase. The high-pressure fluid flow generates more noise than the low-pressure fluid flow. In order to model the pool fire from the storage tank, ANSYS CFX Workbench 14 is used. The CFD results show that the wind speed has significant contribution on the behavior of pool fire and its domino effects. The radiation contours are also obtained from CFD post processing, which can be applied for risk analysis. The outcome of this study will be helpful for better understanding of the domino effects of pool fire in complex geometrical settings of process industries. The attempt to reduce and prevent risks is discussed based on the results obtained from the numerical simulations of the numerical models.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 11923
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 123-134).
Keywords: Computational Fluid Dynamics, pool fire, leak detection, pipeline leakage
Department(s): Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of
Date: May 2016
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Oil spills--Risk assessment; Underwater pipelines--Fluid dynamics; Pipeline failures--Mathematical models; Computational fluid dynamics; Petroleum industry and trade--Fires and fire prevention

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