Classification society ABS is developing emergency response methods to address the high toxicity of ammonia, which is being touted as a promising fuel solution for an environmentally sustainable industry due to its potential for CO2-free emissions. Developed using advanced modeling and simulation technologies, the project aims to create a comprehensive ammonia release response system capable of predicting and initiating emergency response to an ammonia plume. ABS has combined modeling and simulation techniques with computational fluid dynamics to create a high-fidelity model that replicates ammonia distribution patterns in the engine room. ABS specialists used the model to study the effects of different venting approaches on the behavior of ammonia plumes resulting from fuel line leaks and identified optimal methods for venting.
The project provides insights to inform strategies of crews, ports, and rescue services. ABS Chairman, President, and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki said that advanced simulation and modeling approaches can illuminate unique behavior and influence strategies to provide an immediate, informed response during an ammonia emergency. The model will be able to predict the response of an ammonia plume under various parameters, including wind speed and direction, humidity, cubic meters per second, and the vessel’s relationship to port. Agent-based simulations of discrete events will also be conducted to study the response of crew, port authorities, and rescue services post-propagation.
Ammonia is undoubtedly a critical piece of the net zero puzzle and has the potential to significantly reduce the industry’s carbon footprint. However, its high toxicity poses significant challenges onboard and ashore. ABS aims to provide a comprehensive solution to addressing ammonia emergencies by combining advanced technology, regulations, and safety.
ABS has always prioritized safety and is a leader in its field. The project demonstrates ABS’s continued commitment to safety and will pave the way for a significant safety evolution in the industry. The marriage of exceptional simulation and modeling technology with rigorous safety protocols has significant potential not only to prevent accidents but to manage them effectively if they occur.
Overall, ABS’s innovative project aims to address one of the primary operational challenges posed by ammonia, its high toxicity, and take the industry one step closer to a net-zero future. By applying advanced modeling and simulation technologies, ABS hopes to create an efficient and comprehensive ammonia release response system that can mitigate risks and ensure the safety of crews, ports, and rescue services.