Home Interviews THMG185 – Propane Flaring Techniques with Ron Huffman

THMG185 – Propane Flaring Techniques with Ron Huffman


In this episode, Bob and Mike talk to Ron Huffman about the techniques we can use to mitigate propane emergencies.

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Complete Show Notes

3:45 Introduction to Ron Huffman

  • 30-year career firefighter in the city of New Castle, Indiana
  • Spent 14 years in the propane industry – responsible for rebuilding valves and trucks and rebuilding tanker undercarriages
  • Has been traveling the state of Indiana for 30 years doing propane classes

4:45 Why Would We Flare?

  • We either want vapor space (to reduce vapor) or to reduce the volume of the tank
  • Might flare for leaking valves, leaking piping, and leaking tanks
  • In some cases, we might flare to get pressure down

7:15 Gas (Vapor) Flares vs. Liquid Flares

  • From a first responder POV, it’s a matter of time – if we’re getting close to the end of the run, we’re going to flare off vapors
  • We’re typically burning vapor to reduce internal pressure – tank may be compromised or need repairs
  • If we want to completely get rid of the product, we’re going with liquid
  • If we want to save the product for some reason, we’re going with vapor

11:40 What is Water Injection?

  • If you can get water in the tank at a pressure higher than the tank’s pressure, the water goes to the bottom
  • The liquid leak coming out of the bottom will convert into a water leak
  • Converts a billowing cloud of liquid propane into a harmless water leak in as little as 15 seconds
  • When you have water coming out of your flare, let the vapor burn off
  • You’re basically creating a dam inside the tank because the water will freeze at the bottom and plug the leak

21:25 Determining the Pressure in a Tank

  • If we know what the temperature outside is (and haven’t introduced heat to the tank), we can just use propane’s chemical-physical properties
  • We can use digital probes to determine the temperature in the tank – make sure you’re close enough to get an accurate reading
  • Most digital probes only read well at 90 degrees from what you’re trying to measure
  • You can only flare what you can get out of the tank – remember that your system is always based off the smallest orifice

34:35 Contacting Ron

  • Phone: (765) 524-4848

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