In a recent safety development project, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) used modeling and simulation technologies to help develop emergency response methods when dealing with ammonia leaks or spills.
These technologies form the initial part of an ammonia release response system that can predict the behavior of an ammonia plume and provide emergency mitigation services with the correct directions and procedures for dealing with ammonia-related incidents.
Using computational fluid dynamics, ABS developed a high-fidelity model that can replicate ammonia dispersion patterns in the engine room. ABS teams then studied this model to evaluate the impact of different ventilation solutions, and also examined the behavior of ammonia plumes.
Through the implementation of dynamic models, ABS aims to efficiently predict the response of an ammonia plume to a range of parameters including wind speed and direction, humidity, cubic meters per second and the relationship of the vessel to port.
ABS will also carry out a dispersion analysis and agent-based discrete event simulations to study the response of crew, port authorities and emergency services after dispersion.
Despite being viewed as a suitable fuel to help decarbonize the maritime industry and other sectors, ammonia poses several safety challenges due to its high toxicity.