Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Modeling and Analysis of Hydrocarbon Vapor Cloud Explosions (VCEs) in Amuay Refinery and Jaipur Plant Using FLACS

Sajid, Zaman and Khan, Muhammad Kashif and Rahnama, Alireza and Moghaddam, Farzan Sahari and Kalani, Reema (2021) Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Modeling and Analysis of Hydrocarbon Vapor Cloud Explosions (VCEs) in Amuay Refinery and Jaipur Plant Using FLACS. Processes, 9 (6). ISSN 2227-9717

[img] [English] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (6MB)


Process safety helps prevent the unexpected and unplanned release of flammable and toxic chemicals, leading to poisonous gas clouds, fires, and explosions. Vapor cloud explosions (VCEs) are among the most severe hazards to humans and the environment in process facilities. Therefore, process safety demands to use best and reliable techniques to model VCEs in process industries and storage tanks of flammable chemicals. In this regard, the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models are more appropriate, as these models provide three-dimensional (3D) modeling of all sequences of events in an accident. In this study, CFD is used to model VCE in two industrial accidents: the Amuay refinery disaster (happened in 2012) and the Indian Oil Corporation’s (IOC) Jaipur terminal (2009). This work studies 3D CFD modeling of flammable cloud explosion in the real-time configuration for both accidents. FLACS (FLame ACceleration Simulator), a CFD software, is used to simulate the loss of hydrocarbon containment, cloud formation, and explosion in both industrial case studies. The ignition locations and grid sizes were varied to analyze their influence on explosion overpressure, temperature, vapor velocity, and fuel mass. This work also investigated the effect of geometry complexity on the explosion. Results showed that, as opposed to the coarse grid, the fine grid provides more precision in the analysis. The study also reveals an explosion overpressure of the order 4–15 bar (g) for the given case studies. This study’s results can help perform a qualitative and quantitative risk assessment of the Amuay refinery accident and Jaipur fire. The simulation of different scenarios can help develop and improve safety guidelines to mitigate similar accidents.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 15419
Additional Information: Memorial University Open Access Author's Fund
Keywords: process safety; Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD); gas explosion, vapor cloud explosion (VCE) simulation, Amuay refinery, Jaipur fire
Department(s): Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of
Date: 28 May 2021
Date Type: Publication
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Related URLs:

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over the past year

View more statistics