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Effect of Pool Diameter on the Properties of Smoke Produced by Crude Oil Fires.

pdf icon Effect of Pool Diameter on the Properties of Smoke Produced by Crude Oil Fires. (762 K)
Mulholland, G. W.; Liggett, W.; Koseki, H.

Combustion Institute, Symposium (International) on Combustion, 26th. Proceedings. Volume 1. July 28-August 2, 1996, Napoli, Italy, Combustion Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, 1445-1452 pp, 1996.


combustion; crude oil; carbon balance method; fire research; oil spills; sphere sizes; smoke production; smoke yield; spill fires


The smoke production from the burning of crude oil was investigated for a 1-m-diameter pan and for a 2.7 x 2.7-m pan, which is the largest pan used within a fire test facility for smoke characterization. The smoke yield was measured using the carbon balance method by two different procedures: one involved continuous sampling to gas analysis equipment, and the second used a portable, airborne-smoke-sampling package (ASSP). The advantages and limitations of the carbon balance method are addressed. The smoke yield increased by ca. 50%, from 0.100 to 0.148, as the pan size increased. These results are compared with other studies ranging in scale from a pool diameter as small as 8.5 cm to those as large as the 12-m crude oil "spill" fires and the 100-m pool fires set during the 1991 war in Kuwait. Possible causes for the factor-of-5 lower yield measured for the Kuwait oil-well fires, compared to the larger pool fires measured in this study, are examined. The primary sphere size of the smoke was measured by transmission electon microscopy (TEM). It was found that the diameter of the primary spheres incresed by ca. 80%, from 58 nm to 106 nm, as the pan size increased. This scale dependence of the primary sphere size is discussed in light of recent studies concerning smoke formation.