Compression and explosion

  • Thread starter Pranav Jha
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  • #1
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It is repeatedly mentioned that "compressing hydrogen carries a significant risk of explosion"?. But why does compression of hydrogen carry explosion risk? Is it true for all gases?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Do we somehow increase the chances of "explosion" (defining the term while explaining would be helpful) by compressing a gas?
 
  • #3
rcgldr
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Hydrogen by itself isn't explosive, but compressed oxygen with anything that is flammable or oxygen compressed with another flammable gas can be explosive.
 
  • #4
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What role does "compression" play here?
 
  • #5
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I meant how does compression go on to increase the chance of explosion?
 
  • #6
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I meant how does compression go on to increase the chance of explosion?
The more highly compressed the hydrogen is the more will be required of its containment vessel. Given the same vessel a higher pressure will be more likely to breach the vessel. In addition, the higher the pressure, the more energy is released, the more likely the uncontrolled release will cause damage, injury, death, etc...

An explosion is a rapid release of pressure. In the case of a chemical bomb the pressure is produced by the chemical reaction and released because it's container (if it has one) is designed to fail at a certain pressure. In the case of compressed hydrogen the pressure results from the compressor which put it into the storage tank, the release happens if the container fails for some reason (impact, rust, overpressure, etc...)

Once the hydrogen is released there is a secondary danger that it will catch fire causing a much higher quantity of destructive energy to be released. The more hydrogen you start with the larger area it will expand into before it becomes to diluted to burn. The larger area offers a higher probability of it finding a source of ignition.
 

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