Stabilizing High Expansion Foam Using Zirconium Phosphate
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Natural gas has been a fast developing industry for its advantages over other energy sources such as coal. Natural gas is usually stored as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). In the case of a leak of LNG, a potential risk for a fire hazard, a cryogenic vapor cloud, that is at a higher density than air, forms that travels downwind near ground level and could ignite upon contact with an ignition source. As a recommendation from The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) as well as the American Gas Association (AGA), high expansion foam is used to diminish the risk due to this vapor cloud by forming a “blanket” over the leaked LNG. This project intends to study the role of Zirconium Phosphate (ZrP) nanoplates in stabilizing high expansion foam. Experiments were performed with and without ZrP nanoplates to investigate nanoplate stabilization effects on foam stability. Experiments were also carried out in the presence of a cryogenic liquid (Liquid Nitrogen) spill along with the ZrP stabilized foam to examine ZrP effectiveness in mitigating the LNG vapor risk. Forced convection and thermal radiation were found to have significant effects on foam breakage. Adding the ZrP greatly enhanced the foams stabilization effect in reducing the foam breakage rate under forced convection and radiation. On the other hand, ZrP nanoplates have also reduced the liquid drainage rate under forced convection and thermal radiation which would, in turn, allow for extended time to transfer heat from the foam to as they make their way upwards through the foam layers; hence, a lower boil-off effect reducing the fire hazard of the leaked LNG.
Al Rabbat, Anas (2018). Stabilizing High Expansion Foam Using Zirconium Phosphate. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from