ESRA Technical Chapter on Land Transportation and University of Bologna, with the support of ETPIS and AIDIC (the Italian Association of Chemical Engineering), have organized on December 1st 2011 in Bologna (Italy) an international workshop on the transportation of hazardous materials in Europe.
The workshop presented an interesting collection of research work associated with quantifying and mitigating the consequences of various types of releases of dangerous goods.
The application and validation of powerful and sophisticated models that can predict consequences of specific events with amazing resolution was presented. In particular, the application of CFD codes was shown to have a capability to accurately predict outcomes of some specific incidents.
However, even if we are now prone to step to these powerful and complex tools to do the most basic calculations, evident gaps emerged in our fundamental knowledge, where basic applied research needs to be done to better understand the fundamentals of certain phenomena. Stratified combustion of dense clouds, two-phase jets, and other scenarios still need to be understood in detail.
Thus, the need of a twofold research action emerged. On one hand, the further development, validation and integration of CFD and finite element models is needed, to issue detailed techniques able to provide detailed in-depth analysis of single scenarios.
On the other hand, an important research efforts should be coupled to new and detailed experimental data to improve the understanding and the modeling of source terms and final scenarios involved in accidents related to the transportation of hazardous materials.
A final issue emerged is that an important effort is needed to communicate and exploit research results to the regulators and safety managers. Regulators should be able to identify and select appropriate and up-to-date models and methods to prevent and mitigate the most important risks.
In order to promote research work on the above themes, ETPIS has proposed these themes in the reFINE Strategic Research Agenda concerning future European transport infrastructures. Further actions will promote the theme of risk management in hazardous substance transportation in FP7 and in the perspective of Horizon 2020.