Pressurised Foam Fire Protection System for Large Diameter Atmospheric Storage


Environment, Clean Air & Water - Mechanical Systems


Fire extinguishing technology is an important part of fire hazard mitigation strategy in all industrial plant operations. In a fire incident, an effective fire extinguishing mechanism will be able to prevent loss of life and excessive structural damage.

Current ruling procedure dictates that only rim seal fire needs to be extinguished. Hence, in a typical large surface tank fire, the common approach is to contain the crisis and allow the tank to burn out. However, such an approach often leads to severe business disruption and environmental pollution from the fire. In addition, it is difficult to isolate individual storage tanks in a terminal if supplies are limited, hence making the containment strategy a difficult one.

The technology outlined here is a foam technology that provides uncompromised safety against full surface fires for large diameter atmospheric storage tanks. This technology is able to function without water and electricity and does not require human intervention. It also has a lower installation cost than standard fire extinguishing systems, making this a good addition to existing plant safety mechanisms.

The technology uses pressurised foam at a very high foam application rate, provided through a novel foam application device, which accommodates the expansive foam flow and prevents excessive velocities in the nozzle. It provides an ideal curtain like foam application pattern, thus providing substantial and continuous cooling of the tank wall.

The technology provider is seeking industry partners to collaborate through various modes including technology licensing and test bedding at existing atmospheric storage tanks.


  • Pressurised foam designed to start 4 seconds after ignition, hence the extinguishing time of fire is limited only by the velocity of the blanket spreading.
  • In tests carried out on a 500 m2 surface gasoline tank fire, the fire was consistently extinguished within 40 seconds
  • In tests with large tanks of 120 m in diameter, fires were put out within 3 minutes
  • Functions without water nor human intervention
  • Cheaper to install than standard systems
  • Approved and has been implemented by a multinational oil company, tested and classified by TÜV SÜD


This technology can be used as an effective firefighting measure in a number of industries such as:

  • Oil and gas refineries
  • Chemical production facilities


  • Simple design of this technology eliminates the need for specialists to operate and maintain the system. Only a few key elements require regular inspection, resulting in a low chance of malfunctioning
  • Minimal environmental and property damage due to the narrowing of the effective burning area from the outset
  • Able to function without firewater and external energy sources, unlike other forms of firefighting measures such as fire trucks or electric pumps.
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