a) Effects and Hazards of Combustion in Transport, Utility and Industry to the health, safety, culture, society and environment.
Combustion is a chemical process in which a substance reacts rapidly with oxygen and gives off heat. The original substance is called the fuel, and the source of oxygen is called the oxidizer. The fuel can be a solid, liquid, or gas.
Combustion is a hazard, and, besides the many services it provides to humankind, it may cause nuisance (e.g. noise, smoke), damage to property (deformations, loss of strength, burnings and explosions), and damage to people (injury and loss of life). Damage may be ranked in top-down severity order as: a) loss of life (mortality), b) loss of health (morbidity), c) loss of property and d) loss of activity.
Besides damage caused by the combustion process itself, there is also damage associated to the management of fuels (and oxidisers, if special). Coal handling produces respiratory hazards, and crude-oil derivatives are carcinogenic. Liquefied petroleum gases, LPG, and particularly cryogenic fluids like LNG, may cause severe frostbite and structural damage (carbon- and low-alloy steels show a marked ductile to brittle transition at freezing temperatures).
Damage may be caused to individuals or to the environment in general. A general summary on safety management is included below; here, some techniques to minimise risks associated to combustion are studied.
Combustion is a physico-chemical hazard, and, to minimise its impact, one has to be aware of it, rely on safer fuels (e.g. diesel instead of gasoline, natural gas instead of butane), reduce unnecessary fuel stores, avoid fuel leakages and provide fuel detectors, reduce uncontrolled ignition-sources (sparks and hot spots), decrease the impact of the controlled combustion processes (emissions), and plan for the best rescue actions in case of uncontrolled combustion (fire detection and fighting). As usual, pyrotechnics hazards (from amusement...