Published on 25-Apr-2024

Fire Safety in LPG Tanks and Anatomy of BLEVE

Fire Safety in LPG Tanks and Anatomy of BLEVE

Table of Content

LPG Usage Areas and Features

Developing technology and rising living standards have made energy one of our most important needs. In this context, Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), one of the important energy sources, has been among our most basic needs in today's conditions. LPG, which in all areas of our lives, consumes both cylinder gas and autogas.

LPG Usage Areas and Features

LPG consists of a mixture of butane and propane gases. LPG is produced by processing petroleum in refineries or from natural gas deposits. LPG in the gas phase under normal conditions. But it is stored under pressure and in the form of liquid.

LPG, which is liquefied for transportation and storage, is consumed in the gas phase. It has flammable and combustible properties. It is very slightly soluble in water. It is colorless and odorless. For this reason, it is odorization with mercaptans or sulfur compounds so that it can be detected in case of gas leakage. The presence of 2% to 9% in the air is a sufficient mixing ratio for the risk of explosion. For this reason, both storage and transfer should with strict safety codes and rules.

LPG Storage Tanks And Tank Accessories

In the filling facilities and terminals, LPG is stored in liquefied form under pressure in specially designed cylindrical and spherical tanks. LPG is stored in tanks in three ways propane, butane, or mix. Propane has the highest vapor pressure and propane storage tanks are designed to resistant higher pressures.

Read More, Storage and Handling Safety in LPG Plants

Typical Spherical LPG Tank Operations

A typical Spherical LPG tank can be built from 1000 m3 to 5000 m3 volume and has multiple nozzles and connection points. Of these, the most valve open-close operations are in the liquid, gas phase inlets and drain lines. For this reason, these areas critical zones for operational safety. Past disasters have shown us how important these areas and even drainage operations.

Over Pressure Protection İn LPG Tanks

Safety valves are used to protect the tank from explosion when the LPG tank's vapor pressure increases above the design pressure for any reason. The selection of safety valves should be made according to engineering calculations and API standards and should be tested by expert inspectors at least once every five years.

Safety valves are the silent guards of the tanks and are the most important safety equipment on the tank.

Over Pressure Protection İn LPG Tanks

Firefighting Tactics and Leak Prevent

Leakage prevent system

There should be zero tolerance for leakage in LPG storage tanks. In this context, all inlet and outlet nozzles of the tanks should be equipped with remotely operable emergency shut-off valves in case of leaks. LPG leaks or other emergencies may happen in tanks or pipelines. Thanks to this emergency shut-off system, control of LPG spread out of the tank is prevented in case of emergency. It is recommended to test this emergency shut-off system with regular periods.