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(IndyStar)   "Say, now that you mention it, I got a text from my daughter saying the furnace in the unsellable home was acting up." Good thing all the residents were out of the house when it blew. Too early in the week for a caturday submission, though   (indystar.com) divider line 59
    More: Followup, Indianapolis, fire investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, gas explosion, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, son-in-law, Electric energy consumption  
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8384 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Nov 2012 at 8:46 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-13 03:42:10 PM
If CSI has taught me anything, the investigators should look for cornmeal and fragments of a mason jar. Of course, in this particular case they're going to have to look a mile and a half away.
 
2012-11-13 05:10:04 PM

Girion47: I'm just going to throw some numbers out, largely pointless.
Specific Gravity - 0.55-0.64


Ya think? Half the density of water?

[...]

So for an explosion, at most,(keeping in mind the upper flammability limit) you could have 127.4 cubic meters of gas.
Which would generate. 4.7 GigaJoules of energy. At once. A little over 1 ton of TNT(4.184×10^9 J).


127.4m cubic meters of natural gas has a mass of around 100kg. How likely do you think it is that 100kg of gas has the energy content of 1,000kg of TNT?
 
2012-11-13 05:40:04 PM

orbister: Girion47: I'm just going to throw some numbers out, largely pointless.
Specific Gravity - 0.55-0.64


Ya think? Half the density of water?

[...]

So for an explosion, at most,(keeping in mind the upper flammability limit) you could have 127.4 cubic meters of gas.
Which would generate. 4.7 GigaJoules of energy. At once. A little over 1 ton of TNT(4.184×10^9 J).

127.4m cubic meters of natural gas has a mass of around 100kg. How likely do you think it is that 100kg of gas has the energy content of 1,000kg of TNT?


The amount of energy of natural gas can be converted from Btu per cubic feet to Joules per cubic meter. If 1 Btu equals 1055.1 J and 1 ft3 equals 0.028316 m3, then 1000 Btu/ft3 multiplied by 1055.1 J and divided by 0.028316 m3 equals 37 MJ/m3, which is the average energy content of natural gas.
 
2012-11-13 05:59:46 PM

orbister: 127.4m cubic meters of natural gas has a mass of around 100kg. How likely do you think it is that 100kg of gas has the energy content of 1,000kg of TNT?


It's a closer comparison if you include the 4 kg of atmospheric oxygen reacting with each kg of natural gas (CH4 + 2O2 -> CO2 + 2H2O).
 
2012-11-13 06:05:07 PM

orbister: Girion47: I'm just going to throw some numbers out, largely pointless.
Specific Gravity - 0.55-0.64


Ya think? Half the density of water?

[...]

So for an explosion, at most,(keeping in mind the upper flammability limit) you could have 127.4 cubic meters of gas.
Which would generate. 4.7 GigaJoules of energy. At once. A little over 1 ton of TNT(4.184×10^9 J).

127.4m cubic meters of natural gas has a mass of around 100kg. How likely do you think it is that 100kg of gas has the energy content of 1,000kg of TNT?



I think this needs to be tested.

Maybe Mythbusters can fill a house with natural gas, then shoot a cannon at it.

Or something.
 
2012-11-13 06:25:02 PM

orbister: 127.4m cubic meters of natural gas has a mass of around 100kg. How likely do you think it is that 100kg of gas has the energy content of 1,000kg of TNT?


Pound for pound fuel produces a *MUCH* bigger bang than the best of high explosives. That's why the fuel-air bomb was developed. It lacks the extreme shockwave of high explosives but there's an awful lot more boom for the size of the bomb you drop. Useless against sufficiently hard targets, very effective against soft targets.

Explosives tend to work by shedding nitrogen from a molecule. (TNT = trinitrotoluene.) This is nowhere near as energetic as the hydrogen-oxygen reaction. (Hydrogen-oxygen is the second most energetic reaction around and the most powerful one isn't likely to happen outside a lab or industrial plant. One of the inputs and the output are very nasty stuff.) Furthermore, explosives require that nitrogen to be bonded to something that itself adds nothing to the reaction. Fuel generally has no such extra stuff on it.
 
2012-11-13 07:44:47 PM

JackieRabbit: Up next: murder investigation. No simple gas leak could cause that.


Allentown had one of these. I think it leveled 4 houses and the rest of the block was pretty much destroyed.
 
2012-11-14 08:40:07 AM

sporkme: I live 6/10 of a mile from the house that exploded. The blast was incredible, and accompanied by strong pressure wave and followed by the ground shaking. It lit up the sky like a transformer going and you could see flaming debris flying hundreds of feet into the air. My ears rang. Pictures fell off the wall, light bulb filaments broke. My neighbor's brick fireplace cracked. Cracks in a concrete walk enlarged. Insulation was found 1-1/2 miles away, like in a tornado. People heard the blast as far as 25 miles away.
[i1156.photobucket.com image 660x371]
[i1156.photobucket.com image 480x438]

On the police and fire scanner, you could hear the awe and near-panic in the voices of the first responders. There must have been a lull between the explosion and firestorm, since only two people died.
[i1156.photobucket.com image 300x387] 

It was like a thermobaric bomb.

/csb
//you ok? yeah, just gas.


I sold my house in that subdivision last year. We built our house in 2002, so the furnaces (mostly Bryant I think) were all relatively new and modern.
 
2012-11-14 09:29:44 AM

orbister: Girion47: I'm just going to throw some numbers out, largely pointless.
Specific Gravity - 0.55-0.64


Ya think? Half the density of water?

[...]

So for an explosion, at most,(keeping in mind the upper flammability limit) you could have 127.4 cubic meters of gas.
Which would generate. 4.7 GigaJoules of energy. At once. A little over 1 ton of TNT(4.184×10^9 J).

127.4m cubic meters of natural gas has a mass of around 100kg. How likely do you think it is that 100kg of gas has the energy content of 1,000kg of TNT?


And again, I just pulled numbers from a Natural Gas MSDS and a few other places on the net, it wasn't meant to be a hardcore breakdown of the force. I didn't even account for sig figs.
 
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