Modeling and evaluation of the environmental consequences of fire in atmospheric storage tanks using PHAST software

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Environmental Management-HSE, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran


Fires in atmospheric tanks, which are widely used in chemical process industries, are rare. Still, if they occur, they will have irreparable environmental consequences; thus, this study aimed to model and evaluate the environmental consequences of pool fires and determine the area. The restriction was performed due to the presence of a benzene pyrolysis tank. The consequences of accidents regarding an atmospheric storage tank in a petrochemical complex were investigated with PHAST 8.22 software. After qualitative risk assessment, four scenarios were selected in two weather conditions. Consequence modeling was performed using the relevant data, and after analyzing the results of a pool fire, the resulting restricted area was determined. With increasing leak diameter, the consequences of a fire were wider; the restricted area of about 100 meters in scenario S4 was more than in the other scenarios due to the formation of a pool fire in the hot season. The restricted area resulting from ​​the consequence of the pool fire with a delay in scenario S2 in the cold season was also equivalent to the consequence of both types of pool fires in scenario S3 in the hot season and was 88 meters. Atmospheric conditions also affected the consequences of pool fires. The occurrence of a pool fire also affected some of the side reservoirs. Therefore, designing a comprehensive emergency action plan is suggested in which domino events and the reciprocal consequences of disturbed reservoir accidents are examined through outcome assessment.

Graphical Abstract

Modeling and evaluation of the environmental consequences of fire in atmospheric storage tanks using PHAST software


Main Subjects

[1] Tabari, M. R. R., Sabzalipour, S., Peyghambarzadeh, S. M., Jalilzadeh, R. (2021). Dispersion of volatile organic compounds in the vicinity of petroleum products storage tanks. Environmental Engineering and Management Journal (EEMJ), 20(7), 1119-1136.
[2] Derakhshan-Nejad, A., Rangkooy, H. A., Cheraghi, M., Yengejeh, R. J. (2020). Removal of ethyl benzene vapor pollutant from the air using TiO2 nanoparticles immobilized on the ZSM-5 zeolite under UV radiation in lab scale. Journal of Environmental Health Science and Engineering, 18, 201-209.
[3] Shen, Y., Lou, Y., Ren, C., Hong, X., Liao, Z., Wang, J., Yang, Y. (2022). Risk management for hydrogen networks across refineries. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 47(2), 848-861.
[4] Hoseini, L. K., Yengejeh, R. J., Rouzbehani, M. M., Sabzalipour, S. (2022). Health risk assessment of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in a refinery in the southwest of Iran using SQRA method. Frontiers in Public Health, 10: 978354.
[5] Masoumi, A., Yengejeh, R. J. (2020). Study of chemical wastes in the Iranian petroleum industry and feasibility of hazardous waste disposal. Journal of Environmental Health Science and Engineering, 18(2), 1037-1044. 10.1007/s40201-020-00525-5
[6] Shojaee Barjoee, S., Dashtian, A. H., Keykhosravi, S. S., Abbasi Saryazdi, M. J., Afrough, M. J. (2021). Modeling the environmental, health, and safety aspects of xylene isomer emission from storage tanks in petrochemical industries, Iran. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment193, 1-25. 10.1007/s10661-021-09569-y
[7] Abbaspour, M., Javid, A. H., Jalilzadeh Yengjeh, R., Hassani, A. H., & Mostafavi, P. G. (2013). The biodegradation of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) by indigenous Bacillus cereus strain RJ1 isolated from soil. Petroleum Science and Technology, 31(18), 1835-1841.
[8] Khajeh Hoseini, L., Jalilzadeh Yengejeh, R., Mahmoudie, A., Mohammadi Rouzbehani, M., Sabz Alipour, S. (2021). Prioritization of Effective Strategic Parameters in the Removal of VOCs from the ROP System by Using AHP: A Case Study of Abadan Oil Refinery. Journal of Health Sciences and Surveillance System, 9(3), 199-205.
[9] Sekhavati, E., Yengejeh, R. J. (2023). Particulate matter exposure in construction sites is associated with health effects in workers. Frontiers in Public Health, 11.
[10] Sekhavati, E., Jalilzadeh, R. (2022). Optimizing the Risk of Building Environments Using Multi-Criteria Decision Making. Anthropogenic Pollution, 6(1), 1-7.
[11] Sekhavati, E., Yengejeh, R. J. (2021). Assessment Optimization of Safety and Health Risks Using Fuzzy TOPSIS Technique (Case Study: Construction Sites in the South of Iran). Journal of Environmental Health and Sustainable Development, 6(4), 1494-1506. v6i4.8154
[12] Raazi Tabari, M. R., Sabzalipour, S., Peyghambarzadeh, S. M., Jalilzadeh, R. (2020). Vapor Loss of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from the Shipping Port of Abadan Petroleum Refinery. Pollution, 6(4), 863-878.
[13] Barjoee, S. S., Elmi, M. R., Varaoon, V. T., Keykhosravi, S. S., Karimi, F. (2022). Hazards of toluene storage tanks in a petrochemical plant: modeling effects, consequence analysis, and comparison of two modeling programs. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 29(3), 4587-4615.
[14] Ahmadi, O., Asilian, H. (2020). Prediction of fireball consequences caused by Boilover occurrence in the atmospheric storage tanks. Journal of Occupational Hygiene Engineering, 6(4), 1-9.
[15] Bahmani, R., Pouyakyan, M., Khodakarim, S., Bidel, H., Salehi, A. (2021). Risk Assessment and Consequence Analysis of Fire and Explosion in a Vinyl Chloride Monomer Tank by PHAST. Journal of Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention, 8(4), 208-218.
[16] Kashi, E., Bahoosh, M. (2020). Jet fire assessment in complex environments using computational fluid dynamics. Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering, 37(1), 203-212.
[17] Kariznovi, H., Farshad, A. A., Yarahmadi, R., Khosravi, Y., Yari, P. (2017). Consequence Analysis of fire and explosion of a cylindrical LPG tank in a selected industry of oil and gas. Iran Occupational Health, 14(3), 37-45.
[18] Hosseinnia, B., Khakzad, N. and Reniers, G. (2018). Multi-plant emergency response for tackling major accidents in chemical industrial areas. Safety Science, 102, 275-289.
[19] Calixto, E. and Larouvere, E. L. (2010). The regional emergency plan requirement: Application of the best practices to the Brazilian case. Safety Science, 48(8), 991-999.
[20] Board, B. M. I. I. (2005). Buncefield major incident investigation. Initial Report to the Health and Safety Commission and the Environment Agency of the investigation into the explosions and fires at the Buncefield oil storage and transfer depot, Hemel Hempstead, on 11th December, 4-203.
[21] Girdhar, M. (2012). Jaipur Fire and its Environmental effects. Fire Engineer, 37(3), 21-22.
[22] Explosion, S. T. (2003).Fire in Glenpool, Oklahoma April 7, 2003. NTSB/PAR-04/02, PB2004-916502, Notation 7666. Washington, DC: National Transportation Safety Board,1-50.
[23] Kamaei, M., Alizadeh, S. S. A., Keshvari, A., Kheyrkhah, Z., Moshashaei, P. (2016). Risk assessment and consequence modeling of BLEVE explosion wave phenomenon of LPG spherical tank in a refinery. Journal of Health and Safety at Work, 6(2), 10-24.
[24] Xie, C., Huang, L., Wang, R., Deng, J., Shu, Y., Jiang, D. (2022). Research on quantitative risk assessment of fuel leak of LNG-fuelled ship during lock transition process. Reliability Engineering and System Safety, 221, 108368.
[25] Naemnezhad, A., Isari, A. A., Khayer, E., Esfandiari Birak Olya, M. (2017). Consequence assessment of separator explosion for an oil production platform in South of Iran with PHAST Software. Modeling Earth Systems and Environment, 3(1), 1-12.
[26] Jafari, M. J., Zarei, E., Dormohammadi, A. (2013). Presentation of a method for consequence modeling and quantitative risk assessment of fire and explosion in process industry (Case study: Hydrogen Production Process). Journal of Health and Safety at Work, 3(1), 55-68.
[27] Dadashzadeh, M., Khan, F., Hawboldt, K., Amyotte, P. (2013). An integrated approach for fire and explosion consequence modelling. Fire Safety Journal, 61, 324-337.
[28] Mousavi, J., Parvini, M. (2016). Analyzing effective factors on leakage-induced hydrogen fires. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 40, 29-42.
[29] Beheshti, M. H., Dehghan, S. F., Hajizadeh, R., Jafari, S. M. and Koohpaei, A. (2018). Modelling the consequences of explosion, fire and gas leakage in domestic cylinders containing LPG. Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research, 8, 83-88.
[30] Shojaee Barjoee, S., Azizi, M., Kouhkan, M., Alipourfard, I., Bayat, A., Shahbaz, Y. H., Latif, M. T. (2023). The Impacts and Analysis of Individual and Social Risks of the Stochastic Emission of Benzene from Floating-Roof Tanks Using Response Surface Analysis and MPACT Model. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 84, 347-367. 
[31] Shojaee Barjoee, S., Nikbakht, M., Malverdi, E., Zarei Mahmoud Abadi, S., Naghdi, M. R. (2021). Modeling the Consequences of Benzene Leakage from Tank using ALOHA in Tar Refining Industrial of Kerman, Iran. Pollution, 7(1), 217-230.
[32] Ramos, M. A., de Morais, C. P., Paltrinieri, N. (2022). Integration of Human Reliability into Quantitative Risk Analysis in the Chemical Process Industry: Advances, Gaps, and Opportunities. European Conference on Safety and Reliability (ESREL). Dublin, Republic of Ireland.
[33] Mocellin, P., Vianello, C. (2022). A numerical study of effects of an industrial hazardous release on people egress. Chemical Engineering Transactions, 90, 445-450.
[34] Wang, X., Yang, X., Ma, J., Wei, C., Zhou, Z., & Yang, C. (2022, November). Safety risk analysis of ethane storage tank leakage and diffusion based on PHAST: Numerical simulation. In Advances in Energy Materials and Environment Engineering: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Energy Materials and Environment Engineering (ICEMEE 2022), Zhangjiajie, China, 22–24 April 2022 (p. 27). CRC Press.
[35] Wang, W., Zhang, Y., Li, Y., Hu, Q., Liu, C., Liu, C. (2022). Vulnerability analysis method based on risk assessment for gas transmission capabilities of natural gas pipeline networks. Reliability Engineering and System Safety, 218, 108150.
[36] Mehanovic, D., Peloquin, J. F., Dufault, J. F., Fréchette, L., Picard, M. (2022). Comparative techno-economic study of typically combustion-less hydrogen production alternatives. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 8(22),7945-7958.
[37] Filippini, M., Leoncini, C., Luchetti, L., Emiliani, R., Fabbrizi, E., Gargini, A. (2022). Detecting vinyl chloride by phytoscreening in the shallow critical zone at sites with potential human exposure. Journal of Environmental Management, 319, 115776.
[38] Godoy, L. A., Jaca, R. C., Ameijeiras, M. P. (2023). On buckling of oil storage tanks under nearby explosions and fire. In Above Ground Storage Tank Oil Spills (pp. 199-259). Gulf Professional Publishing.
[39] Griffiths, S. D., Entwistle, J. A., Kelly, F. J., Deary, M. E. (2022). Characterising the ground level concentrations of harmful organic and inorganic substances released during major industrial fires, and implications for human health. Environment International, 162, 107152.
[40] Bariha, N., Ojha, D. K., Srivastava, V. C., Mishra, I. M. (2023). Fire and risk analysis during loading and unloading operation in liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bottling plant. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 81, 104928.
[41] Wang, J., Wang, M., Yu, X., Zong, R., Lu, S. (2022). Experimental and numerical study of the fire behavior of a tank with oil leaking and burning. Process Safety and Environmental Protection, 159, 1203-1214.
[42] Crowl, D. A., Louvar, J. F. (2001). Chemical process safety: fundamentals with applications. Pearson Education.
[43] Movahed, A., Norouzi, B., Ebrahimpur, S. (2017). Study of dikeeffect as a passive protection layer on reduction of process accident consequences. In Seventh National Conference of Safety Engineering and HSE Management, Sharif University, Tehran, Iran (pp. 61-9).
[44] Jeong, S. Y., Jang, D., Lee, M. C. (2022). Property-based quantitative risk assessment of hydrogen, ammonia, methane, and propane considering explosion, combustion, toxicity, and environmental impacts. Journal of Energy Storage, 54, 105344.
[45] Meysami, H., Ebadi, T., Zohdirad, H., Minepur, M. (2013). Worst-case identification of gas dispersion for gas detector mapping using dispersion modeling. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 26(6),1407-1414.
[46] Peron, M., Arena, S., Paltrinieri, N., Sgarbossa, F., Boustras, G. (2022). Risk assessment for handling hazardous substances within the European industry: Available methodologies and research streams. Risk Analysis,1-29.
[47] Kamil, M. Z., Taleb-Berrouane, M., Khan, F., Ahmed, S. (2019). Dynamic domino effect risk assessment using Petri-nets. Process Safety and Environmental Protection, 124, 308-316.
Volume 9, Issue 2
April 2023
Pages 153-164
  • Receive Date: 23 December 2022
  • Revise Date: 27 July 2023
  • Accept Date: 30 July 2023
  • First Publish Date: 30 July 2023