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RANS modelling of confined, vented explosions of methane-hydrogen mixtures

DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.2012.ProcSevIntSympTurbHeatTransfPal.160
pages 146-157

Robert M. Woolley
School of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, United Kingdom

Michael Fairweather
School of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK

S. A. E. G. Falle
School of Mathematics, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK

J. R. Giddings
Mantis Numerics Ltd., 1 Oakwood Nook, Leeds LS8 2JA, UK


Hydrogen is seen as an important energy carrier for the future. A hydrogen transport system between manufacturing sites and end users is required, and one solution proposed is its addition to existing natural gas pipeline networks. One major concern is that the explosion hazard may be increased should an accidental release occur, and this paper presents results from the mathematical modelling of confined, vented explosions of mixtures of methane and hydrogen. The flow field was predicted through solution of the averaged forms of the Navier-Stokes equations, closed using both k-ε and second-moment turbulence models. Accurate representation of the turbulent burning velocities was achieved using correlations obtained from the analysis of recently evaluated experimental data sets of H2-CH4 mixtures. Results demonstrate that hydrogen addition can have a significant effect on overpressure generation. Conclusions drawn from calculations go some way to identifying safe operating limits for H2 concentration.

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