Diffusion of gases in air and its affect on oxygen deficiency hazard abatement

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Density differences between air and released gases of cryogenic systems have been used to either require special oxygen deficiency hazard (ODH) control measures, or as a means of abatement. For example, it is not uncommon to assume that helium spills will quickly collect at the ceiling of a building or enclosure and will efficiently exit at the nearest vertical penetration or vent. Oxygen concentration reduction was found to be detectable during a localized helium spill throughout the entire 6.3 km Tevatron tunnel. This prompted us to perform diffusion tests in air with common gases used at Fermilab. The tests showed ... continued below

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8 pages

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Theilacker, J. C. & White, M. J. September 1, 2005.

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Density differences between air and released gases of cryogenic systems have been used to either require special oxygen deficiency hazard (ODH) control measures, or as a means of abatement. For example, it is not uncommon to assume that helium spills will quickly collect at the ceiling of a building or enclosure and will efficiently exit at the nearest vertical penetration or vent. Oxygen concentration reduction was found to be detectable during a localized helium spill throughout the entire 6.3 km Tevatron tunnel. This prompted us to perform diffusion tests in air with common gases used at Fermilab. The tests showed that gases, more readily than expected, diffused through an air column in the direction opposing buoyancy. Test results for helium and sulfur hexafluoride are presented. A system of tests were performed to better understand how easily released gases would fully mix with air and whether they remained fully mixed. The test results have been applied to a new system at Fermilab for ODH abatement.

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8 pages

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  • Presented at 2005 Cryogenic Engineering Conference and International Cryogenic Materials Conference (CEC-ICMC 2005), Keystone, Colorado, 29 Aug - 2 Sep 2005

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  • Report No.: FERMILAB-CONF-05-635-AD
  • Grant Number: AC02-07CH11359
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 897228
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc880428

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • September 1, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Sept. 26, 2017, 5:23 p.m.

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Theilacker, J. C. & White, M. J. Diffusion of gases in air and its affect on oxygen deficiency hazard abatement, article, September 1, 2005; Batavia, Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc880428/: accessed October 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.