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Title: Comparison of the safety-related physical and combustion properties of liquid hydrogen and liquid natural gas in the context of the SF-BREEZE high-speed fuel-cell ferry

Here, we review liquid hydrogen (LH 2) as a maritime vessel fuel, from descriptions of its fundamental properties to its practical application and safety aspects, in the context of the San Francisco Bay Renewable Energy Electric Vessel with Zero Emissions (SF-BREEZE) high-speed fuel-cell ferry. Since marine regulations have been formulated to cover liquid natural gas (LNG) as a primary propulsion fuel, we frame our examination of LH 2 as a comparison to LNG, for both maritime use in general, and the SF-BREEZE in particular. Due to weaker attractions between molecules, LH 2 is colder than LNG, and evaporates more easily. We describe the consequences of these physical differences for the size and duration of spills of the two cryogenic fuels. The classical flammability ranges are reviewed, with a focus on how fuel buoyancy modifies these combustion limits. We examine the conditions for direct fuel explosion (detonation) and contrast them with initiation of normal (laminar) combustion. Direct fuel detonation is not a credible accident scenario for the SF-BREEZE. For both fuels, we review experiments and theory elucidating the deflagration to detonation transition (DDT). LH 2 fires have a shorter duration than energy-equivalent LNG fires, and produce significantly less thermal radiation. Themore » thermal (infrared) radiation from hydrogen fires is also strongly absorbed by humidity in the air. Hydrogen permeability is not a leak issue for practical hydrogen plumbing. We describe the chemistry of hydrogen and methane at iron surfaces, clarifying their impact on steel-based hydrogen storage and transport materials. These physical, chemical and combustion properties are pulled together in a comparison of how a LH 2 or LNG pool fire on the Top Deck of the SF-BREEZE might influence the structural integrity of the aluminum deck. Neither pool fire scenario leads to net heating of the aluminum decking. Overall, LH 2 and LNG are very similar in their physical and combustion properties, thereby posing similar safety risks. For ships utilizing LH 2 or LNG, precautions are needed to avoid fuel leaks, minimize ignition sources, minimize confined spaces, provide ample ventilation for required confined spaces, and to monitor the enclosed spaces to ensure any fuel accumulation is detected far below the fuel/air mix threshold for any type of combustion.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)
  2. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
SAND-2016-6456J
Journal ID: ISSN 0360-3199; PII: S036031991633316X
Grant/Contract Number:
AC04-94AL85000
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 42; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0360-3199
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
08 HYDROGEN; liquid hydrogen; liquid natural gas; fuel cell ferry; combustion properties; safety properties
OSTI Identifier:
1371474
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1420006

Klebanoff, L. E., Pratt, J. W., and LaFleur, C. B.. Comparison of the safety-related physical and combustion properties of liquid hydrogen and liquid natural gas in the context of the SF-BREEZE high-speed fuel-cell ferry. United States: N. p., Web. doi:10.1016/j.ijhydene.2016.11.024.
Klebanoff, L. E., Pratt, J. W., & LaFleur, C. B.. Comparison of the safety-related physical and combustion properties of liquid hydrogen and liquid natural gas in the context of the SF-BREEZE high-speed fuel-cell ferry. United States. doi:10.1016/j.ijhydene.2016.11.024.
Klebanoff, L. E., Pratt, J. W., and LaFleur, C. B.. 2016. "Comparison of the safety-related physical and combustion properties of liquid hydrogen and liquid natural gas in the context of the SF-BREEZE high-speed fuel-cell ferry". United States. doi:10.1016/j.ijhydene.2016.11.024. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1371474.
@article{osti_1371474,
title = {Comparison of the safety-related physical and combustion properties of liquid hydrogen and liquid natural gas in the context of the SF-BREEZE high-speed fuel-cell ferry},
author = {Klebanoff, L. E. and Pratt, J. W. and LaFleur, C. B.},
abstractNote = {Here, we review liquid hydrogen (LH2) as a maritime vessel fuel, from descriptions of its fundamental properties to its practical application and safety aspects, in the context of the San Francisco Bay Renewable Energy Electric Vessel with Zero Emissions (SF-BREEZE) high-speed fuel-cell ferry. Since marine regulations have been formulated to cover liquid natural gas (LNG) as a primary propulsion fuel, we frame our examination of LH2 as a comparison to LNG, for both maritime use in general, and the SF-BREEZE in particular. Due to weaker attractions between molecules, LH2 is colder than LNG, and evaporates more easily. We describe the consequences of these physical differences for the size and duration of spills of the two cryogenic fuels. The classical flammability ranges are reviewed, with a focus on how fuel buoyancy modifies these combustion limits. We examine the conditions for direct fuel explosion (detonation) and contrast them with initiation of normal (laminar) combustion. Direct fuel detonation is not a credible accident scenario for the SF-BREEZE. For both fuels, we review experiments and theory elucidating the deflagration to detonation transition (DDT). LH2 fires have a shorter duration than energy-equivalent LNG fires, and produce significantly less thermal radiation. The thermal (infrared) radiation from hydrogen fires is also strongly absorbed by humidity in the air. Hydrogen permeability is not a leak issue for practical hydrogen plumbing. We describe the chemistry of hydrogen and methane at iron surfaces, clarifying their impact on steel-based hydrogen storage and transport materials. These physical, chemical and combustion properties are pulled together in a comparison of how a LH2 or LNG pool fire on the Top Deck of the SF-BREEZE might influence the structural integrity of the aluminum deck. Neither pool fire scenario leads to net heating of the aluminum decking. Overall, LH2 and LNG are very similar in their physical and combustion properties, thereby posing similar safety risks. For ships utilizing LH2 or LNG, precautions are needed to avoid fuel leaks, minimize ignition sources, minimize confined spaces, provide ample ventilation for required confined spaces, and to monitor the enclosed spaces to ensure any fuel accumulation is detected far below the fuel/air mix threshold for any type of combustion.},
doi = {10.1016/j.ijhydene.2016.11.024},
journal = {International Journal of Hydrogen Energy},
number = 1,
volume = 42,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {11}
}