Combustible Dust Testing

Laboratory testing to quantify dust explosion & reactivity hazards

Flammable Gas & Vapor Testing

Laboratory testing to quantify explosion hazards for vapor and gas mixtures

Chemical Reactivity Testing

Laboratory testing to quantify reactive chemical hazards, including the possibility of material incompatibility, instability, and runaway chemical reactions

DIERS Methodology

Design emergency pressure relief systems to mitigate the consequences of unwanted chemical reactivity and account for two-phase flow using the right tools and methods

Deflagrations (Dust/Vapor/Gas)

Properly size pressure relief vents to protect your processes from dust, vapor, and gas explosions

Effluent Handling

Pressure relief sizing is just the first step and it is critical to safety handle the effluent discharge from an overpressure event

Thermal Stability

Safe storage or processing requires an understanding of the possible hazards associated with sensitivity to variations in temperature

UN-DOT

Classification of hazardous materials subject to shipping and storage regulations

Safety Data Sheets

Develop critical safety data for inclusion in SDS documents

Biological

Model transport of airborne virus aerosols to guide safe operations and ventilation upgrades

Radioactive

Model transport of contamination for source term and leak path factor analysis

Fire Analysis

Model transport of heat and smoke for fire analysis

Flammable or Toxic Gas

transport of flammable or toxic gas during a process upset

OSS consulting, adiabatic & reaction calorimetry and consulting

Onsite safety studies can help identify explosibility and chemical reaction hazards so that appropriate testing, simulations, or calculations are identified to support safe scale up

Mechanical, Piping, and Electrical

Engineering and testing to support safe plant operations and develop solutions to problems in heat transfer, fluid flow, electric power systems

Battery Safety

Testing to support safe design of batteries and electrical power backup facilities particularly to satisfy UL9540a ed.4

Hydrogen Safety

Testing and consulting on the explosion risks associated with devices and processes which use or produce hydrogen

Spent Fuel

Safety analysis for packaging, transport, and storage of spent nuclear fuel

Decommissioning, Decontamination and Remediation (DD&R)

Safety analysis to underpin decommissioning process at facilities which have produced or used radioactive nuclear materials

Laboratory Testing & Software Capabilities

Bespoke testing and modeling services to validate analysis of DD&R processes

Nuclear Overview

Our Nuclear Services Group is recognized for comprehensive evaluations to help commercial nuclear power plants operate efficiently and stay compliant.

Severe Accident Analysis and Risk Assessment

Expert analysis of possible risk and consequences from nuclear plant accidents

Thermal Hydraulics

Testing and analysis to ensure that critical equipment will operate under adverse environmental conditions

Environmental Qualification (EQ) and Equipment Survivability (ES)

Testing and analysis to ensure that critical equipment will operate under adverse environmental conditions

Laboratory Testing & Software Capabilities

Testing and modeling services to support resolution of emergent safety issues at a power plant

Adiabatic safety calorimeters (ARSST and VSP2)

Low thermal inertial adiabatic calorimeters specially designed to provide directly scalable data that are critical to safe process design

Other Lab Equipment (DSC/ARC supplies, CPA, C80, Super Stirrer)

Products and equipment for the process safety or process development laboratory

FERST

Software for emergency relief system design to ensure safe processing of reactive chemicals, including consideration of two-phase flow and runaway chemical reactions

FATE

Facility modeling software mechanistically tracks transport of heat, gasses, vapors, and aerosols for safety analysis of multi-room facilities

Blog

Our highly experienced team keeps you up-to-date on the latest process safety developments.

Process Safety Newsletter

Stay informed with our quarterly Process Safety Newsletters sharing topical articles and practical advice.

Resources

With over 40 years of industry expertise, we have a wealth of process safety knowledge to share.

Recent Posts

Gas Chromatograph and Mass Spectrometer Combustion Analysis

Posted by The Fauske Team on 10.30.18

By: Jeffery Griffin, Chief Commercial Officer, Fauske & Associates, LLC

Flammability test gas chromatograph
FAI uses an Agilent Mass Spectrometer and
Gas Chromatograph in our flammability laboratory

A Gas Chromatograph (GC) and Mass Spectrometer (MS) are instruments commonly used in analytical labs. The combined equipment generally referred to as a GC/MS is an analytical technique used to separate, identify and quantify different compounds within a sample.

Fauske & Associates, LLC (FAI) recently added these instruments to our tool set to support our growing flammability testing and analytical testing businesses as the tool is helpful in numerous applications:

1.) Combustion analysis

2.) Post-reaction mixture analysis (this has applications for reaction calorimetry and thermal hazards)

3.) Quality control (QC concerns/assessment)

4.) Vapor-liquid equilibrium (VLE) studies

5.) Environmental /pesticide

This article explores how the GC can be used for combustion analysis. The primary applications for combustion analysis are twofold:

1.) Before combustion – GC can be used to accurately ascertain fuel/oxidizer ratio (especially in mixtures with multiple components)

2.) After combustion – GC can be used to measure the composition and quantities of combustion gases generated by an event

Dr. Ashok Dastidar, Vice President, Dust & Flammability Testing and Consulting Services explains, “Generally, when flammability testing is performed, the mixture composition is estimated based on partial pressures of the materials as they are added into the test chamber and the assumption that the mixture is adhering to the ideal gas law. While this approach can result in an acceptable approximation of the fuel-oxygen ratio under investigation, there is opportunity for improvement that can be helpful in certain applications.

Specifically, more detailed understanding of the composition can be important if a client has a safety concern or if they are interested in having a high-level of accuracy.”

In a safety scenario - identification of combustion products is important especially when reviewing an event such as a fire or an explosion. Depending on the mixture (fuel-oxygen ratio), different combustion byproducts can result. For example, a test with a fuel rich mixture might result in hazardous byproducts that could be dangerous for people or the environment. Better knowledge of a material could help inform a risk-based approach to mitigate potential exposures.

As an example, if a company has a solvent tank, and an explosion occurs in the headspace, combustion gases will be released. With a more robust assessment of their combustion products, the company would have a better idea of what safety conditions they should design for. They might implement different controls to mitigate the risk of explosion or keep the fuel-oxygen ratio under different conditions because the environmental impact would be lower. For a company interested in mitigating risk, this could be very helpful. Depending on the specific composition of the fuel or the nature of the fuel/oxygen ratio when you test, you might end up with different combustion products.

While someone could perform theoretical calculations to develop a model of what combustion products could be in an explosion scenario, test data is helpful in quantifying reality. Testing is a good complement to models and can provide validation input when performing dispersion modeling or developing a safety plan.

Is There Any Standard That Requires This Analysis?

There is no specific standard for the combustion application of the GC, however, there have been discussions by some international testing bodies on putting requirements for measuring composition by GC into the standard. For other applications mentioned above, regulatory bodies like the EPA and others have standards available.

For more information regarding GC and your flammability testing needs, contact us today.

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Topics: flammability test, combustible gas, Gas & Vapor

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