NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Flammability of methane, propane, and hydrogen gases.
Cashdollar KL; Zlochower IA; Green GM; Thomas RA; Hertzberg M
Colloquium on Gas, Vapor, Hybrid and Fuel-Air Explosions, 1998 Sep; 2:77-101
This paper reports the results of Pittsburgh Research Laboratory flammability studies on methane, propane, hydrogen, and deuterium gases in air. Knowledge of the explosion hazards of these gases is important to the coal mining industry and to other industries that generate or use flammable gases. The experimental research was conducted in 20-L and 120-L closed explosion chambers under both quiescent and turbulent conditions, using both electric spark and pyrotechnic ignition sources. The data reported here generally confirm the data of previous investigators, but they are more comprehensive than those reported previously. The results illustrate the complications associated with buoyancy, turbulence, selective diffusion, and igniter strength versus chamber size. Although the lower flammable limits (LFLs) are well defined for methane (CH4) and propane (C3H8), the LFLs for hydrogen (H2) and its heavier isotope deuterium (D2) are much more dependent on the limit criterion chosen. A similar behavior is observed for the upper flammable limit of propane. The data presented include lower and upper flammable limits, maximum pressures, and maximum rates of pressure rise. The rates of pressure rise, even when "normalized" by the cube root of the chamber volume (V1/3), are shown to be sensitive to chamber size.
Pressure-chambers; Coal-mining; Mining-industry; Explosive-hazards; Flammable-gases
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
74-98-6; 74-82-8; 1333-74-0
Other Occupational Concerns
Colloquium on Gas, Vapor, Hybrid and Fuel-Air Explosions, Proceedings of the International Symposium on Hazards, Prevention, and Mitigation of Industrial Explosions
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division