Investigation on toxicity of ammonia releasing from storage tank onboard through CFD simulations

Kim, Daejeong and Jeong, Byongug (2024) Investigation on toxicity of ammonia releasing from storage tank onboard through CFD simulations. Journal of International Maritime Safety, Environmental Affairs, and Shipping, 8 (1-2). 2339342. ISSN 2572-5084 (

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This study investigates potential risks associated with ammonia releases from a case ship to be constructed in a Korean Shipyard and operated in Korean coastal areas. The focus is on understanding how ammonia disperses from the onboard storage tank's Vent Master and the associated toxic zones. Numerical simulations using CFD tools (Pyrosim and Starccm++) were employed to model ammonia gas dispersion scenarios. The study revealed that if the safety valve opens, the high internal pressure of the ammonia tank could release a significant amount of ammonia (100%) through the vent mast. Thus, determining the position and height of the vent mast is crucial for safety design. Simulations showed that even if ammonia is released at sea through the vent mast, it poses minimal risk to nearby residential areas. The vent mast, positioned at least 4 meters above the ship's deck, ensured rapid gas dispersion, reducing the chance of human exposure. However, the study suggests that safety analyses should be more extensive for larger ships with larger ammonia tanks and vent mast releases. The findings aim to enhance the safety design and operation of ships, providing valuable reference material for policymakers, regulators, engine manufacturers, and ammonia suppliers, ultimately contributing to the establishment of safe ship design and construction practices in the future.