CFD Lagrangian Multiphase Simulation Applied to Dust Explosion Characterization

Printer-friendly versionPDF version

The chemical process safety considers dust explosions as events of great interest because of their negative consequences in industrial facilities. For this reason, combustible dusts are characterized by using standardized equipment known as the 20 L sphere in order to determine their explosibility parameters. During this test, the dust is dispersed at high pressures and then ignited in order to evaluate the explosion overpressure and other characteristics that establish the ignitability and severity of these materials. Thus, the acquisition of the most conservative information about the dust requires an analysis of the variables that influence the characterization process.

According to the above, this study aims to describe the dispersion stage (before ignition) of a flammability test performed with the 20 L sphere by developing a CFD case study using STAR-CCM+®. A transient simulation based on a Lagrangian multiphase flow has been established in order to couple the two phases in the dust cloud. Additionally, the DES turbulence model was implemented to analyze the evolution of the gas flow inside the dispersion chamber. Finally, the experimental validation process that was performed for the simulation results defined the CFD simulation as a tool to determine the most appropriate conditions for the flammability test.

Author Company: 
Universidad de los Andes
Author Name: 
Hugo Pineda