(480f) Investigation of the Flammability Limits of Petroleum Liquids | AIChE

(480f) Investigation of the Flammability Limits of Petroleum Liquids


Investigation of the Flammability Limits of Petroleum Liquids

Controlling vapor concentrations of flammable liquids is a major consideration in safety analysis. This presentation discusses a study of the explosive behavior of a kerosene sample used for a laboratory desulfurization study. The first step is reliable and accurate estimation of the flammability limits. The kerosene is assumed to be composed of saturated hydrocarbons so that the accurate flammability limits reported in the DIPPR database [1] could be used for the pure components. The estimation of the mixture flammability limits uses the model proposed by Liaw [2], and thoroughly tested by Vidal, Rogers and Mannan [3]. The model has been tested for relevant hydrocarbon mixtures by using data reported in the literature [4, 5]. The validated model predicts that the vapor space in the laboratory reactor is indeed in the flammable region, and hence the head space of the reactor should be open and a purge system is necessary to keep the concentrations of the flammable species at a safe level (about a factor of 5 below the lower flammability limit).


  1. http://www.aiche.org/dippr
  2. Liaw, H.-J.; Chiu, Y.-Y. The Prediction of the Flash Point for Binary Aqueous-Organic Solutions. J Hazard Mater., 2003, A101, 83–106.
  3. Vidal, M.; Rogers, W. J.; Mannan, M. S., Prediction of Minimum Flash Point Behaviour for Binary Mixtures. Process Safety and Environ. Prot., 2006, 84, 1-9.
  4. Lenoir, J. M. Predict Flash Points Accurately. Hydro. Proc., 1975, 54, 95-99.
  5. Zabetakis, M. G., Flammability Characteristics of Combustible Gases and Vapors, Bureau of Mines, Washington, D.C. 1965.