LNG Fire Demo Sparks Serious Debate


I fell in to a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down
and the flames went higher.
And it burns, burns, burns
the ring of fire
the ring of fire.

Well …. Bay of Fundy residents will be interested to learn that LNG actually burns in spite of some promoters’ claims to the contrary. This interesting photo gallery shows a test conducted in Beaumont Texas. Click the title to see the original story. Click here to see the photo gallery.

Check groups.google.ca/group/quoddy for an interesting listserv debate by some pretty knowledgeable people. The main concern seems to be the scaling up to a realistic size, realistic sea conditions, and realistic access to appropriate chemicals. What’s your thought. Add it here or at the listserv.

The AP story describes the event as follows:

The exercise was the final event of the Industrial Fire World 2008 conference and was intended to show the properties and effects of the fuel source. With a strong south wind blowing, the afternoon was on the cool side. But when firefighters touched off the pool of liquefied natural gas, onlookers were suddenly drenched in heat exceeding that of a Southeast Texas summer afternoon. At first, firefighters had difficulty igniting the pool, which issued billows of white steam like a geyser or a caldron, because the wind dispersed the gas so rapidly. But once ignited, the wind whipped flames high. Liquefied natural gas does not explode the way gasoline does and burns cleaner as well, according to the presentation Thursday at the Beaumont Emergency Services Training complex.

LNG facilities have a good safety record overall, according to an Associated Press story, but it cited causes for concern.

The AP story – citing a 2005 report, based on government reports and various studies – reported that should an LNG tanker be the target of a missile or bomb, its liquid cargo would instantly become a gas and ignite, resulting in “an extremely hot fire, as wide as three football fields.”

The intense fire “would cause major injuries and burn buildings as far as one-third of a mile away,” with people as much as a mile away vulnerable to suffering second-degree burns.

Photo from Beaumont Enterprise – Lyrics Johnny Cash

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