Dust Explosion Research Underway by DNV GL and Gexcon
Dust explosion incidents are immediate releases of small particles (i.e. chemicals, metal dusts) in large volumes. Such incidents can have devastating effects both in terms of harm to people and the facilities involved.
DNV GL and Gexcon have therefore joined together to seek partners in a collaborative project to investigate dust explosions at a larger scale and produce new guidelines for industry on how best to mitigate these events.
Common dusts involved in reported incidents ranges from, among others; lumber and wood products, chemicals, metal dusts, plastics and foodstuffs (sugar, flour). However, changes in the nature of the threat develops along with new technologies, for example the use of biomass in large scale power generation can involve containment volumes of the order of 100,000m3. The new guidelines will result in more reliable and cost effective safety designs and a much better understanding of the extent of the hazards in large volumes.
“Though considerable research has been done on dust explosions, experimental work has taken place in small enclosures of less than 250m3,” said Clara Huéscar Medina, Safety Engineer, DNV GL – Spadeadam. “The increasing use of biomass, particularly wood material, in the power generation industry is raising safety concerns around the potential of dust explosions occurring and we are taking measures to help the industry understand the implications.”
The project combines Gexcon’s capability in dust explosion modelling with the large-scale experimental capabilities at the DNV GL Spadeadam Research and Testing centre in Cumbria, U.K.
Hari Vamadevan, UK regional manager, DNV GL – Oil and Gas, added, “The primary role of the Spadeadam Research and Testing center is to provide our clients with knowledge and understanding to ensure risks are reduced and operations are safer. The availability of Spadeadam’s infrastructure allows DNV GL to respond so effectively across a number of sectors.”