Foster Wheeler Reprint Outlines Development Of Inert Gas Systems

Foster Wheeler Boiler Corporation, Livingston, N.J., is offering "Taming the Explosion Hazard," an article reprint from the Foster Wheeler organization's technical publication, "Heat Engineering." The article outlines the development of inert gas systems in blanketing hazardous cargoes, then goes on to describe the two configurations offered under license from Moss Rosenberg of Norway.

Within recent years, inert gas systems have drawn increasing attention from the maritime community as a means of protecting crude oil and liquefied gas tankers from fire and explosion. A recent proposal would require all tankers of more than 20,000 dwt calling on U.S. ports to be equipped with these systems.

Properly operated, inert gas systems have prevented explosions in the cargo tanks of v e s _ sels. This was graphically demonstrated as early as World War II, when the tankers of one operator never suffered a cargo explosion, even when torpedoed.

Last year, Foster Wheeler Boiler Corporation was licensed by Moss Rosenberg Verft A.S. of Norway to manufacture and sell the inert gas systems for marine and industrial applications. FWBC currently markets these units in the United States, Canada, Central and South America. A wholly owned subsidiary of Foster Wheeler Corporation, FWBC supplies marine steam generators to the world's fleets and industrial boilers for a wide range of stationary applications.

As described in the Foster Wheeler article, two basic inert gas system configurations are available. The simplest takes stack gas from a steam generator or furnace and cools and scrubs the gas stream of contaminants.

Aboard ship, seawater may be used as the scrubbing medium. The clean, inert gas is then directed by blowers and a piping distribution system to the areas to be inerted. This design is suitable only if the quality of the flue gas is suitable and the volume from the boiler or furnace is sufficient to provide the amount of inert gas needed for cargo blanketing and leakage makeup.

A second, somewhat more sophisticated design, burns light fuel oil under controlled conditions in a special combustion chamber. The resulting gases are scrubbed and directed to the areas to be inerted.

In both designs, monitoring equipment and automatic controls assure that the oxygen content of the gas from the scrubbers is well below that needed to sustain combustion.

Request copies of this reprint from Arnold Bendet, Foster Wheeler, 110 South Orange Avenue, Livingston, N.J. 07039.

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