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FIRE PROTECTION SOLUTIONS

FOR LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Section
______

Page
____

Introduction

The Natural Gas Fire Problem

The Candidate Fire Extinguishing Agents

The ANSUL Natural Gas Fire Extinguishment Concept

The Experimental Experience

The General Behavior of Extinguishing Agents

The Specific Agent Flow Rate Requirements


For Natural Gas Fires

11

The ANSUL Recommended Agent Quantity Requirements

12

Bibliography

26

INTRODUCTION
Page 1

INTRODUCTION
The liquefaction of natural gas, which reduces its volume by a
factor of over 600, has made the storage and transportation of this
fuel economically attractive. However, this liquefaction technique
has also served to increase the amount of energy in storage,
process and transportation equipment by the same amount.
This tremendous concentration of energy has not been overlooked
by the gas utilities, nor gone unnoticed by the authorities and the
general public. The safety of natural gas, especially from the fire
protection standpoint, has been the subject of considerable
research in recent years, and many techniques have been refined
in the overall fire protection approach to the hazard.
As with any other potential hazard, the fire protection for a natural
gas facility consists of three elements: fire prevention, fire control,
and fire extinguishment. Figure 1 illustrates these elements as
they relate to LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) processes.

The considerations for fire prevention are well documented in the


National Fire Protection Associations Standard on Storage and
Handling of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), NFPA 59A1. In addition,
the techniques for fire control, especially for exposure protection,
are not that different with natural gas than with many other flammable materials. There is a great amount of historical experience
in this area. The primary element to which this publication
addresses itself is the extinguishment of fires involving natural
gas, in the liquefied, vapor and gaseous states. A brief description
of vapor dispersion, which can minimize downwind drift of vapor
clouds, and radiation intensity is also made10.
NFPA 59A recommends that normally gas fires (including LNG)
should not be extinguished until the fuel source can be shut off.
However, a gas fire which places personnel in severe danger, a
gas shutoff valve which is involved in the fire, or a fire which indirectly endangers personnel through thermal failure of equipment in
the fire area, may necessitate immediate extinguishment.
Therefore, this publication assumes that there are a number of
situations where the extinguishment of natural gas fires is not only
appropriate, but desirable.

Fire Protection

Fire Prevention

Fire Control

Process and Site Design

Exposure Protection

Fire Extinguishment

Construction Material
Operation Criteria
Vapor Dispersion

Provisions of NFPA
Standard 59A
Industry Standards

Water

Dry Chemicals

High Expansion Foam

High Expansion Foam


Dry Chemicals

FIGURE 1
OVERALL FIRE PROTECTION APPROACH
003380

THE NATURAL GAS FIRE PROBLEM


Page 2

THE NATURAL GAS FIRE PROBLEM


In the past, the natural gas fire problem was rather simple when
compared to todays situation. At that time, nearly all our natural
gas was processed, transported, stored and distributed in the
vapor state. With the widespread application of cryogenic techniques in recent years, the processing, transportation, storage and
vaporization of liquefied natural gas has added a new dimension
to the problem. Instead of being concerned about the fire extinguishing requirements for only the vapor state, design criteria
became necessary for both the vapor and liquid states.
Figure 2 illustrates some of the physical and chemical properties
of natural gas. The properties are approximated since the composition of natural gas covers a rather broad range.
Composition
___________
Methane
Ethane
Propane
Butane

8399%
113%
0.1 3%
0.21.0%

Physical
Properties
_________________
Normal Boiling Point
Density liquid at NBP
(Normal Boiling Point)
Density vapor at NBP (compared
with air at 70 F (21.2 C))
Liquid to vapor expansion
Heat of vaporization
Theoretical vaporizing capability
of 1 cu. ft. (0.3 m2) of:
Dry earth
Wet earth
Water

Air

Combustion
Properties
____________________
Flammable range

Heat of combustion
Burn rate, steady state pool
Pool fire flame height

255 to 263 F
(160 to 164 C)
3 1/2 to 4 lb/gal
(0.42-0.48 kg/L)
1.47
600 to 1
220-248 Btu/lb
(512-577 kj/kg)

6 gal (22.7 L) LNG


(Liquefied Natural Gas)
20 gal (75.71 L) LNG
24 gal (75.708 L) LNG
(1 gal water =
3.2 gal LNG)
0.0005 gal
(0.6019 L) LNG

5-14% (methane at
normal temperatures)
6-13% (methane near
minus 260 F)
22,000 Btu/lb
(51,172,000 J/kg)
0.2-0.6 in./minute
3 times base dimensions
of pool (slight wind)

FIGURE 2
Approximate Properties of Natural Gas2
003381

THE NATURAL GAS FIRE PROBLEM


Page 3

THE NATURAL GAS FIRE PROBLEM (Continued)


After analysis of the characteristics of a natural gas fire, ANSUL
has concluded that the problem may be simplified to the extent
shown in Figure 3. This figure essentially illustrates the following:

Preburn: The length of time that a fire has burned in an impinging jet situation will proportionately increase the extinguishing
agent application rate that is required.

A. State: The natural gas at the source of the fire problem will be
in either the vapor or the liquid state.

Obstructions: The presence of obstructions in the fire area will


influence the number of extinguishing agent application points
required to insure adequate agent coverage.

B. Configuration: A natural gas release may be rapid, producing


a pressurized flow. If the release occurs outdoors, the problem
is simplified. If, however, it occurs in a contained volume, flammable concentrations may produce potentially explosive
conditions. Liquefied natural gas leaks may take the form of a
pressurized flow and, if the leakage rate is adequate, the
problem may be further complicated by the formation of a
liquid pool.
C. Variables: In the case of pressure fires in both the vapor and
liquid states, there are three very important variables that will
directly influence the ease or difficulty of extinguishment:

Impingement: If the natural gas jet is impinging on a vertical


surface (process equipment) or a horizontal surface (ground),
a fire will be significantly more difficult to extinguish than if the
jet is not impinging on a surface.

Within a contained volume, an important variable to be considered is that other flammables (refrigerants, etc.) may be
present. These other flammables could behave quite differently than natural gas with regard to flammable and explosive
limits.
The behavior of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) in a spill situation
is an important consideration in determining extinguishing
agent application requirements. The characteristics of the
surface on which a spill occurs will influence the initial rate of
vaporization. However, an approximation of the initial rate of
vaporization on both solid surfaces and water can be said to
be in the range of 50 ft3 per minute of vapor per ft2 (15.24 m3
per minute per m2) of LNG surface area.

Natural Gas

State

Configuration

Variables

Liquid

Vapor

Pressure

Impingement
Preburn
Obstructions

Contained

Pressure/Pool

Spill

Other
Flammables

Impingement
Preburn

Vaporization
Rate

Obstructions

Obstructions

FIGURE 3
Definition of the Natural Gas Fire
003382

THE NATURAL GAS FIRE PROBLEM


Page 4

THE NATURAL GAS FIRE PROBLEM (Continued)


The steady-state vaporization rate, in contrast, is approximately 1 ft3 per minute of vapor per ft2 of LNG surface area
(0.3048 m3 per minute per m2). This rate is equivalent to a 1 ft
(0.3 m) deep pool evaporating in 10 hours, assuming that
steady-state had already been reached.
While a fire situation will produce a higher rate of vaporization
at steady-state, a fire of greater intensity will occur in an initial
spill situation. These factors are taken into account in the
design criteria (See Figure 12).
With this definition of the characteristics of a natural gas fire, it was
then possible to review candidate agents to determine their
compatibility with the problem.

THE CANDIDATE FIRE EXTINGUISHING AGENTS


Page 5

THE CANDIDATE FIRE EXTINGUISHING AGENTS


Historically, the only extinguishing agents accepted as effective on
natural gas vapor fires were dry chemicals and carbon dioxide.
Furthermore, due to the dry chemicals tremendous effectiveness
advantages over carbon dioxide, the latter is usually employed
only in areas where the dry chemicals may damage sensitive
equipment or where a total flooding technique can be employed.
Such agents as water, protein foam, aqueous film forming foams
(AFFF) and other water base agents have been found to have little
or no effectiveness in the extinguishment of vapor fires, or for that
matter, pressure fires in general. Hence, most fire extinguishment
experimentation and actual fire extinguishing experience in the
natural gas vapor fire field have been restricted to the dry chemical agents.
With the advent of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas), most of the water
base agents were immediately ruled out since they were not only
ineffective, but their application on an LNG spill could worsen the
situation. NFPA 113 (Standard for Low-, Medium-, and HighExpansion Foams) cautions against the use of foam or AFFF on
refrigerated or cryogenic fluids due to severe boiling and increased
vapor release that would follow.
One noteworthy exception to the use of water base agents on LNG
is high expansion foam, which has an extremely low water content.
High expansion foam experimentation on LNG fires has demonstrated that this agent does have vapor dispersion and fire control
capabilities. Use of high expansion foam is discussed later in this
document.
At the moment, the only known agents that have demonstrated an
ability to completely extinguish LNG fires are the dry chemicals. In
this agent category, three types presently account for 95% of the
applications in the United States:
A. Sodium Bicarbonate Base (ANSUL PLUS-FIFTY): This
agent, which is the dry chemical first developed, has been
largely replaced by the more effective potassium bicarbonate
base material in the oil and gas industry.
B. Monoammonium Phosphate Base (ANSUL FORAY): This
agent is approximately as effective as the sodium bicarbonate
base material on flammable liquids and vapors. It has the
added advantage of being an effective extinguishing agent in
Class A (ordinary combustibles) fires.
C. Potassium Bicarbonate Base (ANSUL Purple-K): This
agent, which was introduced commercially in the United States
in the 1960s, has been shown to be more effective than the
sodium bicarbonate base material. Hence, it is becoming the
standard dry chemical in high intensity fire applications.

THE ANSUL NATURAL GAS FIRE EXTINGUISHMENT CONCEPT


Page 6

THE ANSUL NATURAL GAS FIRE EXTINGUISHMENT


CONCEPT
ANSUL has given very careful consideration to the characteristics
of the natural gas fire, the compatibility of, and experimental information on, the available fire extinguishing agents. Combining this
with the practical aspects of the fire situation, ANSUL has developed a conceptual approach to the extinguishment of natural gas
fires. This concept, which outlines the selection and application of
most appropriate extinguishing agent for the various potential fire
situations, is illustrated in Figure 4.

The ANSUL concept is based on the following:


A. Vapor Pressure Fires: The only extinguishing agents
commercially available in a wide range of equipment and
capable of extinguishing flammable gas fires are the dry chemicals and carbon dioxide. Of these two types, the dry chemicals are more effective and have the added advantage of
concise experimental data to support the design criteria in this
application. Of the two more common dry chemicals, the
potassium bicarbonate base agent is more effective, but is
also more expensive than the sodium bicarbonate base agent.
Therefore, some users prefer the sodium bicarbonate base
agent from an economical standpoint.

Natural Gas

State

Configuration

Best Solution

Liquid

Vapor

Pressure

Dry Chemical

Contained

Carbon
Dioxide

Pressure/Pool

Spill

Dry Chemical
or
Dry Chemical
and
High Expansion
Foam

Dry Chemical
or
Dry Chemical
and
High Expansion
Foam

FIGURE 4
The ANSUL Concept
003382

THE ANSUL NATURAL GAS FIRE EXTINGUISHMENT CONCEPT


Page 7

THE ANSUL NATURAL GAS FIRE EXTINGUISHMENT


CONCEPT (Continued)
B. Vapor Contained Fires: The most appropriate means for
extinguishing a fire or inerting the atmosphere prior to a fire in
an enclosed volume is by using a gaseous extinguishing agent
and a total flooding approach. In enclosed volumes, these
systems are normally operated automatically when gas detectors sense a concentration of 1/4 to 1/2 the lower explosive
limit of the fuel involved.
Since there may be flammables other than natural gas in the
protected volume, the system should be designed to produce
an agent concentration adequate to inert the most difficult fuel
present.
C. Liquid Pressure/Pool Fires: LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas)
pressure fires of any significance will usually produce pools of
the fuel in the vicinity of the failure. For the same reasons
outlined for pressure fires with the vapor, the dry chemicals are
the most effective agents for LNG pressure fires. However, the
presence of obstructions (process equipment, piping, etc.) is
extremely significant since the dry chemical may not extinguish flames that are substantially shielded from the agent
stream. In this case, one has two alternatives:
Provide enough dry chemical application points to preclude
the possibility of any flames being shielded by obstructions.
Utilize high expansion foam to bring the spill fire under control
by vapor dispersion and radiation reduction, after which it may
be desirable to extinguish the remaining flames with dry chemical.
D. Liquid Spill Fires: In this type of fire, there are two significant considerations that must be taken into account during the
design of the fire extinguishment equipment. One is the rate of
natural gas vaporization anticipated as a result of the spill of
LNG on the surrounding surface. The design criteria developed for both dry chemical and high expansion foam were
based on experiments where the burning LNG was vaporizing
at an approximate rate of 0.5 in./minute (1.27 cm/minute). A
fresh LNG spill on the ground, especially if the ground has a
high moisture content, will result in an increased vaporization
rate up to 3.0 times steady state conditions17. This higher
vaporization rate will increase the fire intensity. This problem is
very important in automatic systems where the agent is
intended to be applied very quickly (within seconds) after ignition.
This problem is not so significant with manually operated fire
extinguishing equipment as the LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas)
spill will usually freeze the ground to such an extent that the
vaporization rate will have reached equilibrium before the
extinguishers are manned. This does not, however, imply that
it is sound practice to delay the application of the agent until a
stabilized condition is attained.
The minimum dry chemical application rates which will just
extinguish a steady state LNG spill fire (negligible ground
heating effect and maximum radiation-induced burning rates)
are increased by a factor of up to 2.5 for the burning rates that
exist for fires immediately following the LNG spill on land. (See
Figure 12.)
A second important consideration is the presence of obstructions in the spill area. Like pressure/pool fires, two alternatives
are available: Use of dry chemical from sufficient application
points to preclude the possibility of shielded flames; or use of
high expansion foams to control the fire followed by dry chemical to extinguish the remaining flames.

It should be recognized that in both pool and spill fires vapor


concentration reduction may be desirable under certain conditions.
The application of high expansion foam can accomplish this as
previously stated. Specific reference to its use is found on Page
14.

THE EXPERIMENTAL EXPERIENCE


Page 8

THE EXPERIMENTAL EXPERIENCE


The basis for ANSULs concept and design recommendations is a
direct result of five major testing programs involving the control
and extinguishment of natural gas and LNG fires. The programs
are illustrated in Figure 5.

Site
___

Date _____
Tests
____

Longview,
Texas7

1951 91

Types of
Tests
_____

Agents
Tested
______

Vapor-Nonlmpinging Jet

Sodium
Bicarbonate

Vapor-Horizontal
Impinging Jet
Vapor-Downward
Impinging Jet
Vapor-Split Pipe
Impinging Jet
Six Lakes,
Michigan8

1965 48

Vapor-Nonlmpinging Jet

Sodium
Bicarbonate

1969 107

Vapor-Nonlmpinging Jet

LNG Pool Fires

Potassium
Bicarbonate

The 1973 tests, conducted at Norman, Oklahoma, determined that


fresh LNG spills with accelerated boil-off rates increased dry
chemical flow rates for extinguishment.

Sodium
Bicarbonate
Potassium
Bicarbonate
High Expansion
Foam
Monoammonium
Phosphate

1973 100
Norman,
Oklahoma17

LNG Pool Fires


(Accelerated
Boil-Off Rates)

The 1969 Six Lakes program established the potassium bicarbonate base agent requirements for low flow rate (200-1600 ft3/sec
(5.7-45.3 m3/sec)) gas fires and also served to compare the relative fire extinguishing effectiveness of potassium bicarbonate and
potassium chloride base dry chemicals.

Monoammonium
Phosphate

Potassium
Chloride
Marinette,
1972 43
Wisconsin10

The 1965 Six Lakes program was conducted to compare the effectiveness of potassium bicarbonate, monoammonium phosphate
and sodium bicarbonate base dry chemicals on two of the four gas
transmission hazards tested in the Longview program. From this
experimentation, definite design criteria for the potassium bicarbonate base agent were developed for the two hazards tested,
and correlations between the relative extinguishing effectiveness
of sodium and potassium bicarbonate base agents produced the
potassium bicarbonate base agent design criteria for the other two
hazards.

The 1972 program, conducted at ANSULs Fire Technology


Center, was performed to determine the minimum agent requirements for sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, monoammonium phosphate and high expansion foam on LNG pool fires of
400 (37.2 m2) and 1200 (111.5 m2) ft2 in area.

Vapor-Horizontal Potassium
Impinging Jet
Bicarbonate

Six Lakes,
Michigan9

The 1951 Longview program established the technical information


for the use of sodium bicarbonate base dry chemical on four variations of gas pressure fires that are typically found in the natural
gas transmission industry.

Sodium
Bicarbonate
Potassium
Bicarbonate
High Expansion
Foam

FIGURE 5
ANSUL Large Scale Natural Gas Fire Testing Programs

THE GENERAL BEHAVIOR OF EXTINGUISHING AGENTS


Page 9

THE GENERAL BEHAVIOR OF EXTINGUISHING AGENTS


In situations other than total flooding, it is generally accepted that
if an extinguishing agent is not applied to a fire at a sufficient rate,
the fire will not be extinguished12. It is also known that, up to a
certain point, increasing the agents application rate will result in a
shorter extinguishment time.

EXTINGUISHING TIME

(t sec)

This extinguishing time and agent application rate relationship has


been found to be hyperbolic as shown in Figure 6.

tminute

Rminute

AGENT APPLICATION RATE

(R lb/sec (kg/sec))
003385

FIGURE 6
General Relationship of Agent Rate and Extinguishing Time

THE GENERAL BEHAVIOR OF EXTINGUISHING AGENTS


Page 10

THE GENERAL BEHAVIOR OF EXTINGUISHING AGENTS


(Continued)
Another illustration of this behavior is shown in Figure 7, where the
agent quantity and agent application rate are plotted. In a number
of experimental programs, it has been determined that there is an
optimum agent application rate (Ropt) at which rate the least
amount of agent (Qminute) will be required for extinguishment.
Application rates less than Ropt result in longer extinguishment
times and the expenditure of more agent than at Ropt.
Furthermore, if the application rate is less than Rmin, an infinite
quantity of agent would theoretically be unable to extinguish the
subject fire.

AGENT QUANTITY

(Q lb)

Rmin has been found to be in the range of 0.4 to 0.5 Ropt, which
accounts for the 2.0 factor of safety usually put on Rminute to
arrive at a design rate. If the agent is applied at a rate greater than
Ropt, the time of extinguishment is usually not reduced to any
significance (as shown in Figure 6) resulting essentially in the
wasting of agent (Q >> Qminute).

Qminute

Rminute

Ropt
003386

AGENT APPLICATION RATE

(R lb/sec (kg/sec))

FIGURE 7
General Relationship of Agent Rate and Quantity

THE SPECIFIC AGENT FLOW RATE REQUIREMENTS FOR NATURAL GAS FIRES
Page 11

THE SPECIFIC AGENT FLOW RATE REQUIREMENTS FOR


NATURAL GAS FIRES
After all the experimental information was analyzed, recommended design criteria were developed for the application of the
extinguishing agents to the various natural gas fire configurations.
These recommendations are graphically shown in Figures 8
through 15.
Figure 8: Recommended Dry Chemical Design Application Rates
for the Extinguishment of Non-lmpinging Natural Gas and LNG
Pressure Fires.

E. The design rate selected for high expansion foam must


produce fire control with at least 90% reduction of the radiant
heat flux under the conditions described in Figure 15. It is
generally accepted that a minimum application rate of 6 ft3 per
minute per ft2 (1.8288 m3 per minute per m2) is desirable as
determined by testing. Under some circumstances faster
control times may be essential, or longer control times acceptable. The entire foam application rate/fire control time relationship has been included in Figure 15.

Figure 9: Recommended Dry Chemical Design Application Rates


for the Extinguishment of Horizontal Impinging Natural Gas and
LNG Pressure Fires.

F. In the combined use of high expansion foam and dry chemicals, the high expansion foam application must be continued
until the dry chemical has completely extinguished all flames.

Figure 10: Recommended Dry Chemical Design Application


Rates for the Extinguishment of Downward Impinging Split Pipe
Natural Gas and LNG Fires.

For the graphs in Figures 8 through 15, the criteria shown in solid
lines are based on actual experimentation and those shown in
dashed lines are correlations (based on relative extinguishing
effectiveness of the agents) or extrapolations. The design information on LNG pressure fires are theoretical and it assumes that
the LNG completely and immediately flashes to a vapor at 70 F
(21 C). upon exiting the failure point. The dry chemical rates are
then based on the free volume of natural gas using an expansion
factor of 600. This approach is justified on the basis of reported
correlations attained in experimentation with gaseous and liquid
propane.14

Figure 11: Effects of Dry Chemical Application Rate on Fire


Extinguishment Time for LNG Spill Fires with a Total Evaporation
Rate of 0.5 Inches per Minute.
Figure 12: Recommended Dry Chemical Design Application
Density for the Extinguishment of LNG Pool Fires for Various
Vaporization Rates.
Figure 13: Recommended Dry Chemical Design Application
Density for the Extinguishment of LNG Fires for the Steady State
Vaporization Rate.
Figure 14: Recommended Dry Chemical Design Application
Density for the Extinguishment of LNG Fires for Initial Accelerated
Vaporization Rates.
Figure 15: Effects of Foam Application Rate of Control Time for
LNG Spill Fires Using 500:1 High Expansion Foam.
Figures 16 Through 20: Recommended Dry Chemical Design
Quantities Based on the Recommended Application Rates Shown
above, using 30 Second Effective Discharge Time. These figures
can be used to estimate total agent design quantities desired.
In general, the following additional criteria apply:
A. Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers utilizing high velocity dry
chemical streams are superior to soft or fan streams for the
extinguishment of natural gas or LNG fires. Care should be
exercised on LNG spill fires to avoid disrupting the liquid
surface of the fuel with the agent which would cause an
increase in the burning intensity.
B. All the design criteria for dry chemical on natural gas pressure
fires employ a safety factor of two (2.0) on the minimum rate
found necessary to effect extinguishment in the experimental
programs. When designing automatic fixed nozzle dry chemical systems, the applied safety factors would be increased
substantially to achieve much higher application rate densities
(Ib/sec/ft2). The minimum design rate for LNG spills in Figure
11 also has a safety factor of 2.0 times the rate found necessary to effect extinguishment in the testing.
C. Dry chemical extinguishers and extinguishing systems should
be selected to produce optimized discharge times according to
application conditions.
D. From NFPA 11 Standard for Low-, Medium-, and HighExpansion Foam3: In (testing), control was established with
expansion ratios greater than 250:1, although an expansion
ratio of about 500:1 proved most effective.

THE ANSUL RECOMMENDED AGENT QUANTITY REQUIREMENTS


Page 12

RECOMMENDED DRY CHEMICAL DESIGN APPLICATION


RATES FOR NON-IMPINGING NATURAL GAS AND LNG
PRESSURE FIRES (2.0 SAFETY FACTOR APPLIED)

(Based on data from


References 7, 8 and 9.)
LNG agent requirements
are theoretical and assume
that the LNG completely
vaporizes upon contact with
the air and immediately
expands to its 70 F
(21.1 C) condition (600
times expansion).

70
(31.8)

60
(27.2)

Dry Chemical Design Application Rate lb/sec (kg/sec)

50
(22.7)

Y
FT
FI
US
PL

40
(18.1)

30
(13.6)

K
lep
r
Pu

20
(9.1)

10
(4.5)

0
0

500
(14.2)

1000
(28.3)

1500
(42.5)

2000
(56.6)

2500
(70.8)

Natural Gas Flow Rate ft3/sec (m3/sec)

500 (1893)
1000 (3785)
1500 (5678)
LNG Flow Rate gal/minute (liters/minute)
FIGURE 8
003387

THE ANSUL RECOMMENDED AGENT QUANTITY REQUIREMENTS


Page 13

RECOMMENDED DRY CHEMICAL DESIGN APPLICATION


RATES FOR HORIZONTAL IMPINGING NATURAL GAS AND
LNG PRESSURE FIRES (2.0 SAFETY FACTOR APPLIED)

(Based on data from


References 7, 8 and 9.)
lines
indicate
Dashed
extrapolations or correlations: LNG agent requirements are theoretical and
assume that the LNG
completely vaporizes upon
contact with the air and
immediately expands to its
70 F (21.1 C) condition
(600 times expansion).

70
(31.8)

60
(27.2)

40
(18.1)

PL
US
-FI
FT
Y

Dry Chemical Design Application Rate lb/sec (kg/sec)

50
(22.7)

30
(13.6)

20
(9.1)
K
lep
ur
P

10
(4.5)

0
0

200
(5.7)

400
(11.3)

600
(17)

800
(22..7)

1000
(28.3)

Natural Gas Flow Rate ft3/sec (m3/sec)

200 (757)
400 (1514)
600 (2271)
LNG Flow Rate gal/minute (liters/minute)
FIGURE 9
003388

THE ANSUL RECOMMENDED AGENT QUANTITY REQUIREMENTS


Page 14

RECOMMENDED DRY CHEMICAL DESIGN APPLICATION


RATES FOR DOWNWARD IMPINGING SPLIT PIPE NATURAL
GAS AND LNG PRESSURE FIRES (2.0 SAFETY FACTOR
APPLIED)

(Based on data from


References 7, 8 and 9.)
lines
indicate
Dashed
extrapolations or correlations: LNG agent requirements are theoretical and
assume that the LNG
completely vaporizes upon
contact with the air and
immediately expands to its
70 F (21.1 C) condition
(600 times expansion).

70
(31.8)

50
(22.7)

40
(18.1)

PLU
S-FIF
TY

Dry Chemical Design Application Rate lb/sec (kg/sec)

60
(27.2)

30
(13.6)

20
(9.1)

-K
e
l
p
ur
P

10
(4.5)

0
0

100
(2.8)

200
(5.7)

300
(8.5)

400
(11.3)

500
(14.2)

Natural Gas Flow Rate ft3/sec (m3/sec)


0

100 (378.5)
200 (757.1)
300 (1135.7)
LNG Flow Rate gal/minute (liters/minute)
FIGURE 10
003389

THE ANSUL RECOMMENDED AGENT QUANTITY REQUIREMENTS


Page 15

DRY CHEMICAL APPLICATION RATE VS. EXTINGUISHMENT


TIME FOR LNG SPILL FIRES WITH BURNING RATE OF
0.5 IN./MINUTE (1.27 cm/minute)

Based on data from Reference 10. Design Application Rate is


Based on 2.0 Safety Factor Applied to Minimum Rate

30

Minimum Purple-K

25

Extinguishment Time (seconds)

Purple-K

20
Minimum PLUS-FIFTY

15

PLUS-FIFTY
10
PLUS-FIFTY Design Application Rate

Purple-K Design Application Rate


0
0

0.01
(0.05)

0.02
(0.10)

0.03
(0.15)

0.04
(0.2)

0.05
(0.24)

0.06
(0.29)

0.07
(0.34)

Dry Chemical Application Rate (lb/sec/ft2)


FIGURE 11
003390

THE ANSUL RECOMMENDED AGENT QUANTITY REQUIREMENTS


Page 16

RECOMMENDED DRY CHEMICAL DESIGN APPLICATION


DENSITIES FOR A RANGE OF LNG POOL BURNING RATES
(2.0 SAFETY FACTOR APPLIED)

0.07
(0.34)

Dry Chemical Design Application Density (lb/sec/ft2)

0.06
(0.29)

0.05
(0.24)
TY
FIF
US
PL

0.04
(0.2)

0.03
(0.15)

K
plePur
0.02
(0.10)

0.01
(0.05)

0
0.5
(1.27)

1.0
(2.5)

1.5
(3.81)

LNG Linear Burning Rate in./minute (cm/minute)


FIGURE 12
003391

THE ANSUL RECOMMENDED AGENT QUANTITY REQUIREMENTS


Page 17

RECOMMENDED DRY CHEMICAL DESIGN APPLICATION


RATES FOR LNG POOLS BURNING AT 0.5 IN./MINUTE
(1.27 cm/minute) (2.0 SAFETY FACTOR APPLIED)

1000
(453.6)

500
(226.8)

300
(136.1)

Dry Chemical Design Application Rate lb/sec (kg/sec)

200
(90.7)

100
(45.4)

50
(22.7)
30
(13.6)
20
(9.1)

10
(4.54)

5
(2.27)
3
(1.36)
2
(0.91)

1 (0.45)
10
(0.9)

50
(4.6)

100
(9.3)

500
(46.5)

1000
(92.9)

5000
(464.5)

10000
(929)

LNG Area ft2 (m2)


FIGURE 13
003392

THE ANSUL RECOMMENDED AGENT QUANTITY REQUIREMENTS


Page 18

RECOMMENDED DRY CHEMICAL DESIGN APPLICATION RATES


FOR LNG POOLS BURNING AT 1.5 IN./MINUTE (3.81 cm/minute)
(2.0 SAFETY FACTOR APPLIED)

1000
(453.6)

500
(226.8)

300
(136.1)

100
(45.4)

50
(22.7)
30
(13.6)

P
ur
pl
eK

PL
US
-F
IF
TY

Dry Chemical Design Application Rate lb/sec (kg/sec)

200
(90.7)

20
(9.1)

10
(4.54)

5
(2.27)
3
(1.36)
2
(0.91)

1 (0.45)
10
(0.9)

50
(4.6)

100
(9.3)

500
(46.5)

1000
(92.9)

5000
(464.5)

10000
(929)

LNG Area ft2 (m2)


FIGURE 14
003393

THE ANSUL RECOMMENDED AGENT QUANTITY REQUIREMENTS


Page 19

EFFECT OF FOAM APPLICATION RATE ON CONTROL TIME


FOR LNG SPILL FIRE USING 500:1 HIGH EXPANSION FOAM

300

Fire Control is defined as when the radiant heat flux


has been reduced by 90 percent or more.

Fire Control Time Seconds

250
Six (6) ft3/minute/ft2 (1.83 m3/minute/m2)
is a generally accepted minimum
design rate.

200

150

100

50

0
0

5
6
(1.5) (1.83)

10
(3.05)

15
(4.6)

High Expansion Foam Application Rate ft3/minute/ft2 (m3/minute/m2)


FIGURE 15
003394

If LNG pools are burning, the common practice is to provide foam


discharge for 3 times the average response time for fire fighting
personnel to arrive on site and extinguish the fire with dry chemical. In the absence of this information, it has been generally
accepted for the purpose of design that a minimum 60 minute
continuous foam discharge is adequate for foam concentrate
storage tank sizing. ANSUL recommends continuous foam
discharge for burning LNG situations.
If LNG pools are not burning and foam is being used for vapor mitigation, it is desirable to keep a minimum of 3 ft. (0.91 m) depth of
foam over the spill area. Manually ON/OFF cycling the discharge
as required is recommended to maximize available foam concentrate supplies. After initial foam coverage based on 3 minutes of
discharge, it is possible that reapplications may only be required
every 30 minutes. This can be affected by individual site conditions.

Steady state LNG pool evaporation is approximately 0.025 in.


(0.0635 cm) per minute. When maintaining a 3 ft (0.91 m) foam
depth over the spill area of non-burning LNG, the evaporation rate
may increase in the range of 0.050 in. (0.127 cm) to 0.075 in.
(0.191 cm) per minute from the heat input provided by the foam
drainage. Evaporation rates of continuously foamed LNG that is
burning may be in a range above 0.075 in. (0.191 cm) per minute.
The evaporation data listed above is based on JET-X Agent and
Hardware testing conducted at ANSULs R&D facility in a cement
containment pit using LNG that was above 99% Methane.

THE ANSUL RECOMMENDED AGENT QUANTITY REQUIREMENTS


Page 20

RECOMMENDED DRY CHEMICAL DESIGN QUANTITIES FOR


NON-IMPINGING NATURAL GAS AND LNG PRESSURE FIRES

(Based on Recommended
Application Rates and
Seconds
Effective
30
Discharge Time)

1400
(635)

PL
US
-F
IF
TY

Dry Chemical Design Quantities lb (kg)

1200
(544.3)

1000
(453.6)

800
(362.9)

K
el
p
ur
P

600
(272.2)

400
(181.4)

200
(90.7)

0
0

500
(14.2)

1000
(28.3)

1500
(42.5)

2000
(56.6)

2500
(70.8)

Natural Gas Flow Rate ft3/sec (m3/sec)

500 (1893.7)
1000 (3785.4)
1500 (5678.1)
LNG Flow Rate gal/minute (liters/minute)
FIGURE 16
003395

THE ANSUL RECOMMENDED AGENT QUANTITY REQUIREMENTS


Page 21

RECOMMENDED DRY CHEMICAL DESIGN QUANTITIES FOR


HORIZONTAL IMPINGING NATURAL GAS AND LNG
PRESSURE FIRES

(Based on Recommended
Application Rates and
Seconds
Effective
30
Discharge Time)

1400
(635)

1200
(544.3)

800
(362.9)

PLU
S-FI
FTY

600
(272.2)
P
ur
pl
eK

Dry Chemical Design Quantities lb (kg)

1000
(453.6)

400
(181.4)

200
(90.7)

0
0

200
(5.7)

4000
(11.3)

600
(17)

800
(22.7)

1000
(28.3)

Natural Gas Flow Rate ft3/sec (m3/sec)

200 (757.1)
400 (1514.2)
600 (2271.2)
LNG Flow Rate gal/minute (liters/minute)
FIGURE 17
003396

THE ANSUL RECOMMENDED AGENT QUANTITY REQUIREMENTS


Page 22

RECOMMENDED DRY CHEMICAL DESIGN QUANTITIES FOR


DOWNWARD IMPINGING SPLIT PIPE NATURAL GAS AND
LNG PRESSURE FIRES

(Based on Recommended
Application Rates and
Seconds
Effective
30
Discharge Time)

1400
(635)

1200
(544.3)

PLUS
-FIFT
Y

800
(362.9)

600
(272.2)

400
(181.4)

P
ur
pl
eK

Dry Chemical Design Quantities lb (kg)

1000
(453.6)

200
(90.7)

0
0

100
(2.8)

200
(5.7)

300
(8.5)

400
(11.3)

500
(14.2)

Natural Gas Flow Rate ft3/sec (m3/sec)

100 (378.5)
200 (757.1)
300 (1135.6)
LNG Flow Rate gal/minute (liters/minute)
FIGURE 18
003397

THE ANSUL RECOMMENDED AGENT QUANTITY REQUIREMENTS


Page 23

RECOMMENDED DRY CHEMICAL DESIGN QUANTITIES FOR


LNG POOLS BURNING AT 0.5 IN./MINUTE (1.3 cm/minute)
(30 SECOND DISCHARGE TIME)

1000
(453.6)

PL
US
-F
IF
P
TY
ur
pl
eK

Dry Chemical Design Quantity lb/kg

10000
(4536)

100
(45.4)

10 (4.5)
10
(0.9)

100
(9.3)

1000
(93)

10000
(929)

LNG Area ft2 (m2)


FIGURE 19
003398

THE ANSUL RECOMMENDED AGENT QUANTITY REQUIREMENTS


Page 24

RECOMMENDED DRY CHEMICAL DESIGN QUANTITIES FOR


LNG POOLS BURNING AT 1.5 IN./MINUTE (3.8 cm/minute)
(30 SECOND DISCHARGE TIME)

1000
(453.6)

PL
US
-F
IF
P
TY
ur
pl
eK

Dry Chemical Design Quantity lb (kg)

10000
(4536)

100
(45.4)

10 (4.5)
10
(0.9)

1000
(93)

100
(9.3)

10000
(929)

LNG Area ft2 (m2)


FIGURE 20
003399

COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE FIRE SUPPRESSION EQUIPMENT


Page 25

COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE FIRE SUPPRESSION


EQUIPMENT
A. High Expansion Foam: Foam expansion rates of 500:1 are
favored for fire control and are well-suited for vapor dispersion.
ANSUL recommends the following high expansion foam
generators for LNG with performance characteristics as
shown.
Calculating Foam Quantity For Local Application (LNG)
High Expansion Generators Typical Discharge Characteristics

Generator
________
JET-X-2A

Generator Inlet
Pressure
psi
(bar)
____________

Foam Output
cfm
(cmm)
____________

Solution Flow
gpm
(lpm)
____________

50
75
100

(3.45)
(5.17)
(6.89)

2,240
3,200
3,735

(63)
(91)
(106)

35
42
50

(132.5)
(159)
(189.3)

Expansion
_________
465:1
555:1
545:1

JET-X-15A (LNG)

50
75
100

(3.45)
(5.17)
(6.89)

12,625
14,495
18,240

(357)
(410)
(516)

180
220
260

(681.4)
(832.8)
(984.2)

525:1
495:1
525:1

JET-X-20

40
50
75
100

(2.76)
(3.45)
(5.17)
(6.89)

13,443
16,034
21,145
24,301

(381)
(454)
(599)
(688)

212
238
294
338

(802.5)
(900.9)
(1112.9)
(1279.5)

474:1
504:1
538:1
538:1

B. Dry Chemical: A complete line of dry chemical extinguishment systems have been designed specifically for natural gas
and flammable liquid applications. Figure 21 summarizes the
ANSUL dry chemical product line, illustrating the flow rates,
which can be related to the data contained in this report.
Category

Agents

Extinguisher Capacity

Flow Rate

Hand Portable

PLUS-FIFTY

10, 20, 30 lb
(4.5, 9, 13.6 kg)

1.5-2.5 lb/sec
(0.7-1.1 kg/sec)

Purple-K

9, 18, 27 lb
(4.1, 8.2, 12.2 kg)

PLUS-FIFTY

150, 350 lb (68, 158.8 kg)

Purple-K

125, 300 lb (56.7, 136.1 kg)

Hand Hose Line


Systems

PLUS-FIFTY

150, 350, 500, 1000,


1500, 2000, 3000 lb
(68, 158.8, 226.8, 453.6,
680.4, 907.2, 1360.8 kg)

4.5-10.0 Ib/sec
(2-4.5 kg/sec)
for hand lines

Vehicle Mounted

Purple-K

125, 300, 450, 900, 1350,


1800, 2700 lb
(56.7, 136.1, 204.1, 408.2,
612.4, 816.5, 1224.3)

25-100 Ib/sec
(11.3-45.4 kg/sec)
for turrets for 1350 lb (612.4 kg)
capacity and larger

Wheeled

Engineered
Systems

4.5-8.5 Ib/sec (2-3.9 kg/sec)

4-100 Ib/sec (1.8-45.4 kg/sec)


for piped systems depending on their capacity
FIGURE 21

C. Detection and Control: This report is not intended to provide


detailed coverage of the detection and control aspects of fire
control and extinguishment. However, it should be recognized
that whether automatic or manual, the detection control
system design is integral to the extinguishing system design, if
an optimum total system control and extinguishing capability is
to be realized.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Page 26

BIBLIOGRAPHY
1. National Fire Protection Association, Storage and Handling of
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), NFPA Standard 59A.
2. Walls, W. L., LNG: A Fire Service Appraisal, FIRE
JOURNAL, January, 1972.
3. National Fire Protection Association, Standard For Low-,
Medium-, and High-Expansion Foams, NFPA 11.
4. REMOVED
5. REMOVED
6. REMOVED
7. Natural Gas Fire Tests, Technical Bulletin Number 32, Ansul
Incorporated, Marinette, Wisconsin.
8. Fire Tests With Natural Gas Jets Six Lakes, Ansul
Incorporated, Marinette, Wisconsin.
9. Fire Tests With Natural Gas Jets Six Lakes, Ansul
Incorporated, Marinette, Wisconsin (1969).
10. LNG Fire Control, Fire Extinguishment and Vapor Dispersion
Tests, University Engineers, 1972.
11. REMOVED
12. Guise, A. B., and Lindlof, J. A., A Dry Chemical Extinguishing
System, NFPA QUARTERLY, Volume 49, Number 1, July,
1955.
13. REMOVED
14. Guise, A. B., Fire Tests Made On LP Gas, LP GAS, May,
1948.
15. REMOVED
16. REMOVED
17. An Experimental Study on the Mitigation of Flammable Vapor
Dispersion and Fire Hazards Immediately Following LNG
Spills On Land, For AGA by University Engineers, February,
1974.

Form No. F-75158-2

Copyright 2007 Ansul Incorporated

ANSUL INCORPORATED
MARINETTE, WI 54143-2542
715-735-7411