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Environment Effects of Oil Spill Combustion.

pdf icon Environment Effects of Oil Spill Combustion. (1955 K)
Evans, D. D.; Mulholland, G. W.; Gross, D.; Baum, H. R.; Saito, K.

NISTIR 88-3822; 51 p. September 1988.


Department of the Interior, Reston, VA
Minerals Management Service, Reston, VA

Available from:

National Technical Information Service
Order number: PB89-107726


oil spills; crude oil; pool fires; smoke; polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons; fire plumes; spill fires


Experimentation and analysis have been performed to quantify the combustion of crude oil on water. The burning behavior of three crude oils--ALBERTA SWEET, LA ROSE, and MURBAN, were studied using 1.2 m diameter pool burns. In smaller 0.6 m diameter pool fires using ALBERTA SWEET, combustion products were collected for extensive chemical analysis. This analysis showed that about 10% of the crude oil was converted to smoke in the combustion process. The CO concentration was a factor of 25 lower than the primary gaseous product CO2, and the emission of NO and NOx were less than one thousandth the concentration of CO2. The PAH content of the smoke was enriched in the larger molecular weight species in comparison with the original fuel. A methdology was developed with which the down wind dispersal of smoke generated by one or more oil spill fires in close proximity may be predicted. Initial results that demonstrate the capability of the analysis are presented.