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Risk reduction in road and rail LPG transportation by passive fire protection

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Author: Paltrinieri, N. · Landucci, G. · Molag, M. · Bonvicini, S. · Spadoni, G. · Cozzani, V.
Publisher: Elsevier
Place: Amsterdam
Source:Journal of Hazardous Materials, 1-3, 167, 332-344
Identifier: 241697
Keywords: Safety · BLEVE · Hazardous materials transportation · Major accident hazard · Quantitative risk analysis · Transportation risk analysis · Boiling liquids · Butane · Fire extinguishers · Fire protection · Gas industry · Laws and legislation · Liquefied petroleum gas · Materials handling · Petroleum transportation · Tankers (ships) · Risk analysis · Accident prevention · Computer simulation · Finite element method · Fire management · Liquefied petroleum gas · LPG


The potential reduction of risk in LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) road transport due to the adoption of passive fire protections was investigated. Experimental data available for small scale vessels fully engulfed by a fire were extended to real scale road and rail tankers through a finite elements model. The results of mathematical simulations of real scale fire engulfment scenarios that may follow accidents involving LPG tankers proved the effectiveness of the thermal protections in preventing the "fired" BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion) scenario. The presence of a thermal coating greatly increases the "time to failure", providing a time lapse that in the European experience may be considered sufficient to allow the start of effective mitigation actions by fire brigades. The results obtained were used to calculate the expected reduction of individual and societal risk due to LPG transportation in real case scenarios. The analysis confirmed that the introduction of passive fire protections turns out in a significant reduction of risk, up to an order of magnitude in the case of individual risk and of about 50% if the expectation value is considered. Thus, the adoption of passive fire protections, not compulsory in European regulations, may be an effective technical measure for risk reduction, and may contribute to achieve the control of "major accidents hazards" cited by the European legislation. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.