Study of the Influence of the Main Input Parameters on Toxic Consequence Calculation for a Formaldehyde Release
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Formaldehyde is widely used in the chemical industries as a raw material for resins, plastics, fertilizers, and polymers as a solvent, and a preservative. Due to its high reactivity, and acute toxicity, determining the possible consequences of accidental releases of formaldehyde in industries is critical for safety. Despite that, only limited risk analysis work has been done. In this work, we simulated the consequences of formaldehyde release for an industrial facility. The simulation were performed for two release scenarios, one of which was the worst-case scenario described in the Risk Management Plan (RMP) regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the other was defined to account for a more probable situation in the industrial facility. The cloud dispersion of three different mixture of formaldehyde was simulated using PHAST, a software for consequence analysis. The consequences were assessed for different atmospheric conditions, wind velocities and hole diameters. The results show that, for the worst- case scenario, the largest downwind and crosswind distance is represented by stability class F and wind velocity 1.5 m/s. The behavior of the formaldehyde cloud confirms the positive influence of wind velocity on diluting effect. The effect of direct influence of wind velocity and hole diameter were simulated for more probable scenarios. Simulations reveal that high wind velocities generally result in shorter impact distances. Except for the class D, where the wind velocity promotes the mass transfer of the liquid in the pool and the dispersion depends on pool dynamics, the downwind and crosswind distances increase when wind velocities are increased from 1.5m/s to 5m/s. The sensitivity analysis for the effect of hole diameter shows that the size of the hole compared to wind and stability class plays a more significant role on the dispersion of the formaldehyde.
Amaya Ramirez, Bibian Helena (2015). Study of the Influence of the Main Input Parameters on Toxic Consequence Calculation for a Formaldehyde Release. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from