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  • 1.
    Liberman, Michael A.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita).
    Kleeorin, Nathan
    Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita). Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.
    Rogachevskii, Igor
    Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita). Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.
    Haugen, Nils Erland L.
    Multipoint radiation induced ignition of dust explosions: turbulent clustering of particles and increased transparency2018In: Combustion theory and modelling, ISSN 1364-7830, E-ISSN 1741-3559, Vol. 22, no 6, p. 1084-1102Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Understanding the causes and mechanisms of large explosions, especially dust explosions, is essential for minimising devastating hazards in many industrial processes. It is known that unconfined dust explosions begin as primary (turbulent) deflagrations followed by a devastating secondary explosion. The secondary explosion may propagate with a speed of up to 1000 m/s producing overpressures of over 8-10 atm, which is comparable with overpressures produced in detonation. Since detonation is the only established theory that allows rapid burning producing a high pressure that can be sustained in open areas, the generally accepted view was that the mechanism explaining the high rate of combustion in dust explosions is deflagration-to-detonation transition. In the present work we propose a theoretical substantiation of an alternative mechanism explaining the origin of the secondary explosion producing high speeds of combustion and high overpressures in unconfined dust explosions. We show that the clustering of dust particles in a turbulent flow ahead of the advancing flame front gives rise to a significant increase of the thermal radiation absorption length. This effect ensures that clusters of dust particles are exposed to and heated by radiation from hot combustion products of dust explosions for a sufficiently long time to become multi-point ignition kernels in a large volume ahead of the advancing flame. The ignition times of a fuel-air mixture caused by radiatively heated clusters of particles is considerably reduced compared with the ignition time caused by an isolated particle. Radiation-induced multipoint ignitions of a large volume of fuel-air ahead of the primary flame efficiently increase the total flame area, giving rise to the secondary explosion, which results in the high rates of combustion and overpressures required to account for the observed level of overpressures and damage in unconfined dust explosions, such as for example the 2005 Buncefield explosion and several vapour cloud explosions of severity similar to that of the Buncefield incident.

  • 2.
    Liberman, Michael
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita).
    Wang, Cheng
    Qian, Chengeng
    Liu, JianNan
    Influence of chemical kinetics on spontaneous waves and detonation initiation in highly reactive and low reactive mixtures2019In: Combustion theory and modelling, ISSN 1364-7830, E-ISSN 1741-3559, Vol. 23, no 3, p. 467-495Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Understanding the mechanisms of explosions is important for minimising devastating hazards. Due to the complexity of real chemistry, a single-step reaction mechanism is usually used for theoretical and numerical studies. The purpose of this study is to look more deeply into the influence of chemistry on detonation initiated by a spontaneous wave. The results of high-resolution simulations performed for one-step models are compared with simulations for detailed chemical models for highly reactive and low reactive mixtures. The calculated induction times for H-2/air and for CH4/air are validated against experimental measurements for a wide range of temperatures and pressures. It is found that the requirements in terms of temperature and size of the hot spots, which can produce a spontaneous wave capable to initiate detonation, are quantitatively and qualitatively different for one-step models compared to detailed chemical models. The time and locations when the exothermic reaction affects the coupling between the pressure wave and spontaneous wave are considerably different for a one-step and detailed models. The temperature gradients capable to produce detonation and the corresponding size of hot spots are much shallower and, correspondingly, larger than those predicted using one-step models. The impact of the detailed chemical model is particularly pronounced for the methane-air mixture. In this case, not only the hot spot size is much greater than that predicted by a one-step model, but even at the elevated pressure, the initiation of detonation by a temperature gradient is possible only if the temperature outside the gradient is rather high, so that can ignite a thermal explosion. The obtained results suggest that the one-step models do not reproduce correctly the transient and ignition processes, so that interpretation of the simulations performed using a one-step model for understanding mechanisms of flame acceleration, DDT and the origin of explosions must be considered with great caution.

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