Turbulence Model Selection for Heavy Gases Dispersion Modeling in Topographically Complex Area


1 Energy Department, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

2 Department of Chemical Technologies, Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology (IROST), Tehran, Iran


The dispersion of hazardous gas in the environment presents dangerous risks for people living close to chemical plants or storages. Since heavy gases tend to stay at lower levels and disperse at a slower pace in the atmosphere, they are potentially more dangerous. In this paper, various mathematical models for turbulence (including k-ε, RNG k-ε, EARSM, LES, DES) and their associated parameters have been assessed, compared and validated against the experimental data in various scenarios to find the most suitable one for atmospheric dispersion of dense-gases. This topic has been investigated and validated by a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation of the Kit-Fox experiment. The precision of the CAD models, practicality, computational resource requirements, and some other factors have been considered and addressed in this paper to achieve a comprehensive solution for atmospheric dispersion. The results here suggest that the proper selection of the turbulence model and the turbulent Schmidt number is crucial. Our results indicate that the most promising combination in the case of atmospheric dense-gas dispersion is the RNG k-ε model with the Schmidt number of 0.4, considering the demand for accuracy and computational resource.