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Dilution with air to minimise consequences of toxic/flammable gas releases
Published in
Volume: 18
Issue: 4-6
Pages: 502 - 505
Dilution has long been considered a solution to many problems of toxic/flammable material releases. It implies diluting to a concentration that is below physiologically dangerous levels for a toxic substance (generally below TLV), or to a level below LFL for a flammable material release, ensuring that the process adopted for dilution does not itself enhance the risks. In this paper, we discuss the dilution of a gaseous release by deliberate and cautious mixing with air to reduce its concentration to a harmless level. The idea bears its origin to the Bhopal Gas Tragedy where some families saved themselves by turning the ceiling fans on when MIC reached their bedrooms at the dead of very cold night on December 2-3, 1984. The air pushed in by the fans diluted the MIC to below the harm level. Some of the advantages of using air dilution are: no cost of air, no air storage needed, no need to treat the air after use as in case of water curtains; required equipment, its maintenance and staff training in its use are very likely to cost less than in other ways of handling a release. Air dilution may not be feasible in all cases, such as gaseous release within a congested equipment layout, release that forms a liquid pool, etc. The method needs to be evaluated for each case. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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