CFD and EnKF coupling estimation of LNG leakage and dispersion

Jiansong Wu, Jitao Cai, Shuaiqi Yuan, Xiaole Zhang, Genserik Reniers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


As a kind of clean fuel, increasing quantities of natural gas have been transported as liquefied natural gas (LNG) worldwide. The safety of LNG storage has gained the concerns from the public due to the potential severe consequences that may arise from LNG leakage. In this paper, a three-dimensional model with the combination of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) is proposed to predict LNG vapor dispersion and estimate the strength of the LNG leakage source. The LNG vapor dispersion CFD model is validated by the experimental data with good feasibility, and is further demonstrated with the reasonable modeling of the characteristics of the LNG vapor dispersion in a typical receiving terminal. The effectiveness of the proposed CFD and EnKF coupling model is evaluated and validated by a twin experiment. The results of the twin experiment indicate that the proposed CFD and EnKF coupling model allows the integration of observation data into the CFD simulations to enhance the prediction accuracy of the LNG vapor spatial-temporal distribution and thereby realizing a reasonable estimation of the LNG leakage velocity under complex environments. This study can provide technical supports for safety control, loss prevention and emergency response in case of LNG leakage accidents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105263
JournalSafety Science
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Ensemble Kalman filter
  • LNG leakage
  • LNG receiving terminal
  • LNG vapor dispersion


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