Experimental Study on the Explosion of Gasoline-air Mixture in Reduced-scale Storage Tank

Yi Zhou*, Yang Du, Xiaogang Zhao, Peili Zhang, Sheng Qi
Department of Petroleum Supply Engineering, Logistical Engineering University, Chongqing, 401311, China

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© Zhou et al. ; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

Correspondence: Address corresponding to this author at the Department of Petroleum Supply Engineering, Logistical Engineering University, Chongqing, 401311, China; Tel: +86-013808335056; Fax: +86-023-86731513; Email:


Fire and explosion accidents often occur in storage tanks leading to great economic loss and serious casualties during the working, operation and maintenance. This paper established a reduced-scale storage tank experimental system, and then the explosion characteristics of gasoline-air mixture in storage tank were studied. The experimental results show that several parameters (such as concentration of gasoline-air mixture, initial temperature of gasoline-air mixture, initial O2 and N2 contained in the storage tank) have very important influence on the gasoline-air mixture explosion and its explosion products. The upper and lower explosion limits of gasoline-air mixture are about 0.86% and 4.3% HC respectively according to the experimental results, and the critical explosion concentration is about 2.5% HC. The explosion of gasoline-air mixture under different initial temperatures in the concentration of 2.5% was carried out to find out that the biggest explosion overpressure is at the initial temperature of 308 K. The concentrations of explosion products namely CO and CO2 are closely related to the initial concentration of gasoline-air mixture, and the critical initial concentration of gasoline-air mixture to determine the higher and lower concentrations of CO and CO2 in explosion products is around 2.5% HC. Meanwhile, the ignition of gasoline-air mixture under various concentrations of premixed N2 and O2 in the storage tank was carried out, and the results show that the ignition of gasoline-air mixture with the concentration of 2.0% HC is impossible when the concentration of O2 is below 18.80%.

Keywords: Explosion, Gasoline-air mixture, Reduced-scale experiments, Storage tank.