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Smoke Emission and Burning Rates for Urban Structures.

pdf icon Smoke Emission and Burning Rates for Urban Structures. (11231 K)
Bryner, N. P.; Mulholland, G. W.

Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 25A, No. 11, 2553-2562, 1991.


Defense Nuclear Agency, Washington, DC


smoke emissions; burning rate; urban fires; nuclear winter; smoke generation; crib burning; scale effects; wood; ABS plastics; gypsum


Cribs, ordered arrays of sticks, were burned to mimic post-nuclear building fires. As the packing density of the cribs was increased to simulate blast damage, the smoke yield increased and the smoke changed from strongly light absorbing to whitish in color. A ventilation parameter proportional to the ratio of the crib vent area to the total fuel surface area correlated the burning rate and smoke yield data for both large (3.81 cm stick thickness) and small (0.64 cm stick thickness) scale cribs. The globally averaged smoke optical depth inferred from the burning of the wood cribs is in the low range of Penner's (1986, Nature 324, 222-226) estimate. The smoke yield for freely burning cribs containing wood, gypsum, and plastic can be accounted for based on the high sooting yield of the plastic by itself.