August 2007

Process Safety

Choosing the wrong flame arrestor can prevent capacity enhancement

This Iranian gas facility debottlenecked its process and increased production

Abdi, M. A., Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's; Golkar, M. M., National Iranian Oil Co.

Flame arrestors are important process safety devices. A flame arrestor is a passive device that permits gas flow, but prevents any external flame or backfire from "flashing back" through the gas flow to the source of flammable material. Devices to prevent flame passage are critical to processes where flammable chemicals or vapors are handled. Construction. Flame arrestor elements are usually constructed of various open-structured metal configurations. The most common are crimped-metal-ribbon, parallel-plate, expanded-metal-cartridge, perforated-plate, wire-gauze (and wire-gauze in packs), sintered-metal, and packed-beds.1 Many factors are important in applying a flame arrestor:2

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