Process Safety and Environmental Protection, Vol.146, 552-563, 2021
Quantifying methane release and dispersion estimations for buried natural gas pipeline leakages
The methane into the soil from buried natural gas pipelines due to small leakages, changes the soil properties, posing potential risks to humans and the environment. It is essential to estimate the leakage rate and monitor the methane diffusion range outside the pipeline, which is challengeable due to the presence of soil. The main contribution of this work is to bridge the gap between estimating the leakage rate of underground pipelines and predicting the diffusion behaviors through calculating the gas concentration in the soil. The quantified leakage rate estimation model for air was firstly established by experimental results and validated by the numerical results, which was further modified by the methane with the numerical simulations. The methane diffusion model in the soil was then performed, through which, the influencing factors were explained and validated. In addition, the methane release and dispersion results in the soil could be used as the boundary conditions of gas diffusion model in the air. The results show that the quantifying estimation correlations can predict the leakage rate and dispersion range in the soil accurately, with errors less than 7.2 % and 15 %, respectively. Moreover, the quantified relations have been validated by the full-field experiments. And, the dispersion behaviors in the air could be portrayed instead of being regarded as a jet flow. (C) 2020 Institution of Chemical Engineers. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.