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Large Fires: Burning of Oil Spills.

pdf icon Large Fires: Burning of Oil Spills. (395 K)
Evans, D. D.; Walton, W. D.; Notarianni, K. A.; Baum, H. R.; Koseki, H.

NIST SP 995; Volume 2; March 2003.

U.S./Japan Government Cooperative Program on Natural Resources (UJNR). Fire Research and Safety. 12th Joint Panel Meeting. October 27-November 2, 1992, Tsukuba, Japan, Building Research Inst., Ibaraki, Japan Fire Research Inst., Tokyo, Japan, 365-371 pp, 1992.


Department of Transportation, Washington, DC


fire safety; fire research; oil spills; combustion; burning rate; smoke yield; particle size distribution; fire plumes; regression rate


In 1991 a series of 14 mesoscale fire experiments were performed to measure the burning characteristics of crude oil on salt water. These oil burns in a pan ranged in size from 6 m square to 15 m square. Results of the measurements for burning rate and smoke emissions are compared to those from previous smaller scale burns conducted both in the U.S. and in Japan. The burning rate as indicated by the regression rate of the oil surface was found to be 0.055 + 0.01 mm/s for pan fires with effective diameters greater than 7 m. Smoke particulate yields from fires greater than 2 m in diameter were found to be approximately 0.13 of the oil burned on a mass basis. Predictions of smoke plume trajectory and particulate deposition at ground level from the Large Eddy Simulation (LES) model developed as part of this research effort were found to be different from those predicted by the EPA approved SCREEN model. LES is a steady-state three-dimensional calculation of smoke plume trajectory and smoke particulate deposition based on a mixed finite difference and Lagrangian particle tracking method.