Research projects

Safe handling of tetrafluoroethylene
Tetrafluoroethylene (TFE) is mainly known as the monomer employed in the production of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE),a fluoropolymer used in a variety of engineering applications like fire resistant layers, waterproof clothing and seals for the automotive and aerospace industry. At ambient temperature TFE is a colourless and odourless gas. Under certain circumstances TFE may undergo explosive decomposition, which led to various accidents in recent years involving fatalities and large economic losses in various companies. Remarkably, TFE decomposition does not require the presence of an oxidiser -like oxygen or air- to occur. In fact, for TFE above a certain pressure, providing sufficient energy will trigger its decomposition. In various research projects set-up by the PlasticsEurope TFE Safety Task Force two of the most common ignition sources for TFE decomposition were analysed. These were, on one hand, the contact of TFE with hot surfaces and, on the other hand, the ignition of TFE induced by adiabatic compression. By performing laboratory and industry scale experiments as well as developing mathematical and numerical models, conditions for the occurrence of TFE decomposition were determined, which allows for a safer handling of TFE in the chemical industry.
Links to project outputs:     Conferences #1  /  Conferences #2  /  Paper #1  /  Paper #2  /  Paper #3  /  Paper #4 
Exposure to fire of pressurized cylinders for the storage of acetylene
Unlike containers for other compressed gases, like hydrogen, cylinders for the storage of acetylene under pressure are filled with a porous material. In the free volume a solvent, like acetone, is dispersed, in order to dissolve acetylene. The principal reason for this complex constructive measure is the prevention of the propagation of the decomposition reaction of acetylene within the cylinder, which can be initiated by a strong external heat source like a fire. In order to estimate the potential risks related to acetylene cylinders involved in fire, two large scale experimental campaigns were performed. The data collected during various fire exposure tests were used for the development and validation of a numerical model. With the help of this model it is possible to examine different scenarios, like the heating of an acetylene cylinder in or near a fire and the cooling during the fire extinguishment procedures. With help of this study it can be predicted if and when acetylene cylinders exposed to flames will burst and therefore preventive measures can be adopted. This study was partly funded by the British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA).
Links to project outputs:     Conferences #1  /  Conferences #2  /  Paper #1  /  Paper #2 
Effect of the electrode distance during the determination of the flammability limits of gases
Within the framework of the of the expansion of the German standard DIN EN 1839:2003, it has been experimentally observed that different test apparatus have strong influence on the determination of the flammability limits of gases and might even lead to dubious results. Numerical simulations were performed, in order to analyse the gas flow patterns during the induced ignition of gases. The distance between the electrodes was considered as parameter and varied between 10 to 40 mm. The simulations performed showed how a small distance between the electrodes may limit the buoyancy of the gas. A limited buoyancy might in extreme cases lead to the flame extinction and could be seen as a possible explanation of the discrepancies between flammable limits determined with different experimental apparatuses.
Links to project outputs:     Conferences #1  /  Conferences #2 
Self-ignition of wood piles
The self-ignition in stored biomass with special attention to wood was the focus of this research project realised within the framework of the funding program klimazwei. As to prevent the occurrence of undesired fires, standard laboratory and large scale investigation of the self-ignition was performed. Laboratory experimental data were used to identify kinetics and stoichiometry of the combustion reaction, as to develop simplified reaction models. Furthermore, computer-based analysis of the self-ignition process was performed. Results of simulations of the self-ignition process for pine wood chips were compared with experimental data collected in piles up to 6 m high and then discussed, in order to assess suitable storage conditions for wood chips, i.e. pile dimensions and storage times not leading to a self-ignition.
Links to project outputs:     Handbook  /  Conferences #1  /  Conferences #2  /  Paper #1  /  Paper #2  /  Paper #3 
Pool fires: study of the formation and evolution of thin-layer boilover
Within this investigation an experimental facility was redesigned and renewed in order to carry out a series of experiments large-scale pool fires -diameters ranging from 1.5 to 6 meters- and to precisely determine the fundamental parameters in accidents involving boilover and thin-layer boilover in particular. In the tests parameters such as the burning rate, the flame height and inclination, the radiation dispersed to the surroundings, the on-set time of the thin-layer boilover and the boilover intensity were determined. Special attention was devoted to the increase of the flame height and of the radiation dispersed to the surroundings during the appearance of the thin-layer boilover, which allowed for the determination of more proper safety distances. Furthermore, a mathematical model to predict the temperature profiles in the liquid layer (fuel and water) during the process that leads to thin layer boilover was developed. The model was then extended to the case of generic boilover. This study provided the results for the compilation of my dissertation written in the Center for Technological Risk Studies (CERTEC) at the "Universidad Politecnica de Catalunya" in Barcelona.
Links to project outputs:     Conferences #1  /  Conferences #2  /  Paper #1  /  Paper #2  /  Paper #3  /  Paper #4  /  Paper #5  /  Paper #6 

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Other projects

This website
Upon starting my freelance activity I wondered how I can present properly myself and my business on the market. The first thought was, of course, to have my own website. What's better nowadays to introduce oneself? So I asked myself if I should hire a programmer or try out if I can make it on my own. I went for the second option, so I learned the basics of HTML/CSS within two weeks and designed with the help of a template my website in different languages. I am quite satisfied with the results. I hope, you too.
Your project
Here I would like to present a short description of our future collaboration. Hopefully, I could convince you with the portrait of my projects that a cooperation would be fruitful as well as rewarding. Should you still need a small incentive before you contact me, please take a look at my CV and at my references.

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