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API RP 2216

2003 Edition, December 2003

Complete Document

Ignition Risk of Hydrocarbon Liquids and Vapors by Hot Surfaces in the Open Air

Includes all amendments and changes through Reaffirmation Notice , October 2015

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Product Details:

  • Revision: 2003 Edition, December 2003
  • Published Date: October 2015
  • Status: Active, Most Current
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: American Petroleum Institute (API)
  • Page Count: 18
  • ANSI Approved: No
  • DoD Adopted: No

Description / Abstract:

This recommended practice provides information concerning the potential for ignition of hydrocarbons that are exposed to hot surfaces in the open air. Hydrocarbon liquids, when heated sufficiently, can ignite without the application of a flame or spark. The ignition of hydrocarbons by hot surfaces may occur when oil is released under pressure and sprays on a hot surface or is spilled and lies on a hot surface for a period of time. Understanding the mechanism and dynamics of autoignition is an important step in preventing or controlling the ignition of hydrocarbons by hot surfaces in the open air. In addition to the information provided herein, appropriate industry standards and other information may assist users to understand the potential hazards of hydrocarbon auto-ignition (such as spontaneous combustion) not specifically covered by this publication and implement appropriate prevention and control measures.


Hot surfaces, in areas where hydrocarbon liquids or vapors are present and may be released, are often presumed to be the sources of ignition should fires occur. However, it is generally recognized by the petroleum industry that hot surfaces, even at temperatures considerably above the auto-ignition temperatures (AIT) of the hydrocarbons involved, are not always capable of igniting flammable vapor-in-air mixtures. This publication provides information applicable to the better understanding and controlling of hot surface ignition hazards.