NIST Time|NIST Home|About NIST|Contact NIST

HomeAll Years:AuthorKeywordTitle2005-2010:AuthorKeywordTitle

Smoke Production From Large Oil Pool Fires.

pdf icon Smoke Production From Large Oil Pool Fires. (507 K)
Notarianni, K. A.; Evans, D. D.; Walton, W. D.

NIST SP 995; Volume 2; March 2003.

Interscience Communications Ltd.; National Institute of Standards and Technology; Building Research Establishment; and Society of Fire Protection Engineers. Interflam 1993. (Interflam '93). Fire Safety. International Fire Conference, 6th. March 30-April 1, 1993, Oxford, England, Interscience Communications Ltd., London, England, Franks, C. A., Editor(s), 111-119 pp, 1993.


fire safety; fire science; pool fires; smoke production; oil spills; crude oil; smoke yield


This study is motivated by a desire to understand the near and far field effects of large fires, and in particular the current need to understand the consequences of burning large pools of oil as a means of responding to a spill emergency. A concern related to burning oil is that the smoke particulate content of the plume may be a health hazard. The smoke yield (fraction of the burned fuel that is emitted as smoke particulate) was measured for crude oils in laboratory and mesoscale field experiments conducted in the United States and Japan. Scaling of smoke yield from laboratory to large scale fires is based on results from pool fire experiments from 0.85 m to 17.2 m in diameter. An important finding of this study is that smoke yield varies approximately by a factor of two between laboratory tests (6 percent smoke yield) and larger diameter fires conducted out-of-doors (13 percent smoke yield). The large laboratory experiments conducted in Japan, showed that a pool fire of a 2 m in diameter produced nominally the same smoke yield as the largest fires tested.