Study on convection and dispersion characteristics of dense gases in urban environment considering trees

Publication Name

Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries


Although several studies on the dispersion of heavy toxic gas released from ruptured tanks on vehicles during transportation have considered complex terrain such as urban buildings, the influence of trees on the flow field in urban areas during gas dispersion tends to be ignored. In this study, a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model was proposed to investigate the characteristics of gas release and dispersion from loaded vehicle in the urban environment. In this model, the tree crown was treated as a porous medium, and the influence of drag due to the crown was incorporated into the model by a momentum source term through a user-defined function. In this study, the dynamic characteristics of chlorine (Cl2) dispersion under the conditions of building distribution, tree species and porosities were comprehensively analysed, to cover the influence of urban complexity, leaf density, and tree planting configuration. The results show that compared with flat terrain, the presence of urban buildings will prolong the dense gas retention time and increase the dangerous distance. It is found that the horizontal dispersion distance can increase by 63% and the isosurface of 25 ppm hazardous gas can increase by 130% with the introduction of buildings. Compared with the terrain with only buildings, the introduction of arbors or shrubs can result in a 147% or 359% increase in the maximum concentration. Also, trees will prolong the dispersion duration. It is also found that the higher the porosity, the less the wind blocking effect, and the weaker the ability of capturing gas. The wind field affected by arbores and shrubs are different in height, and arbores capture more Cl2. Planting short shrubs around buildings can effectively reduce the spread of harmful gases.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access



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Funding Sponsor

Natural Science Foundation of Hebei Province



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