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Fires in Silos: Hazards, Prevention, and Fire Fighting

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Storage of chemicals in silos is ubiquitous in the chemical, pharmaceutical and other producing industries, and some 80 % of all bulk materials are inflammable. It is here that the risk of large fires arises due to self-ignition or the intrusion of different ignition sources. For firefighters, most silo fires are very difficult to handle due to the large amount of combustibles, hidden hot spots of burning material, and possibly toxicity of the chemicals involved or their combustion products.

Thus, specialist knowledge is absolutely necessary for smooth silo plant operation, hazard prevention and hazard control during emergencies -- sometimes even firefighters take inappropriate action due to a lack of information.

This book provides just such in-depth expert knowledge, drawing on many lessons learned from past silo fires. It explains current prevention measures in detail -- helping to prevent future damage. Numerous types of fire detection devices and fire fighting equipment are covered, backed by extensive data tables listing fire and explosion characteristics of bulk materials, color photographs of silos on fire and documentation of firefighters' actions. In addition, diagrams and formulas as well as pre-prepared check lists are included for risk assessment and fire fighting actions.

Possibly lifesaving reading for chemists in industry, engineers, chemical engineers, health officers, environmental consultants, instructors in the chemical industry, as well as chemicals suppliers and safety officers.

About the Author

Dr. habil. Ulrich Krause is head of the division "Fire Engineering" at the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) in Berlin, Germany, which he joined in 1991. He studied fluid mechanics and thermodynamics at the Technical University of Dresden from 1980 to 1985 and obtained his Ph.D. in 1989. In 2001, he completed his Habilitation(equivalent to D.Sc.) on heat and mass transfer in dust explosions, also at the Technical University of Dresden.

His research interests focus on accidental fires in bulk materials, solid fuels, dust explosions, and on the CFD modelling of fires and explosions. He lectures on computational methods in process safety at the Technical University of Berlin. He is member of several EU standardization working groups, has authored and co-authored three monographs, and has published over 50 papers in scientific and technical journals to date.
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