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Burning of Oil Spills.

pdf icon Burning of Oil Spills. (463 K)
Evans, D. D.; Walton, W. D.

NISTIR 4449;

U.S./Japan Government Cooperative Program on Natural Resources (UJNR). Fire Research and Safety. 11th Joint Panel Meeting. October 19-24, 1989, Berkeley, CA, Jason, N. H.; Cramer, D. M., Editor(s)(s), 217-222 pp, 1990.

Available from:

National Technical Information Service


oil spills; combustion; smoke generation; crude oil; tests; pool fires; energy transfer


This study is directed at understanding the oil spill combustion process and the smoke generated from the burning. Measurements of 1.2 m diameter Murban crude oil pool fires show an initial steady energy release rate of 840 kW/m2 which increases to 1860 kW/m2 during the vigorous burning associated with boiling of the water sublayer. During the burning of the crude oil pools approximately 10 percent of the crude oil was converted to smoke with a high elemental carbon content in excess of 90 percent. Measurements of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) components found in the original oil, showed that soot produced in the burning process carried a different distribution of PAH compounds, but that the total concentration of these compounds was equal to that found in the original crude oil.