Analysis of Smoke Samples From Oil Well Fires in Kuwait. Report of Test FR 3985.
Analysis of Smoke Samples From Oil Well Fires in Kuwait.
Report of Test FR 3985.
Mulholland, G. W.; Benner, B. A., Jr.; Fletcher, R. A.;
Steel, E.; Wise, S. A.; May, W. E.; Madrzykowski, D.;
Evans, D. D.
Report of Test FR 3985; FR 3985; Report ofTest 3985; 15
p. June 20, 1991.
Sponsor:National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin., Washington, DC
well fires; crude oil; smoke
This report describes results from a preliminary series
of measurements concerning the smoke production from the
Kuwait oil well fires. Detailed chemical analysis of
the smoke is being carried out for determination of the
fraction of ambient aerosol arising from the Kuwait oil
well fires on a local, regional, and global scale. The
overall goal is to characterize the amount of smoke
particulate produced and its chemical makeup, as well as
the amount of various gaseous species including SOx and
PAHs from individual well fires. This information will
be used together with the burning rates of a large
number of oil well fires to estimate the total
production of smoke and gases from all the fires in
Kuwait. The source term information is essential for
risk assessment in regard to health effects,
environmental/climate impact, and visibility. Smoke
samples were collected in the Al Maqwa oil field in
Kuwait on May 15, 1991 from two locations illustrated on
the map. The first set was collected about 3 meters
above ground at an "ambient" location; that is, the
sampling was not from a plume but was from the oil field
region. These samples are indicated as ambient oil
field samples. The second set of samples, denoted as
plume samples, was collected in the plume of a
combination jet-pool fire at a height of about 1 meter.
The ground level plume consisted of whitish smoke, while
black smoke was emanating from the flames. It was the
whitish smoke that we were sampling. The particulate was
collected on quartz filters, polytetrafluoroethylene
(PTFE) filters, on stages of a cascade impactor, and on
carbon coated transmission electron microscopy (TEM)
grids. Volatile polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
were collected downstream on XAD-2 sorbent and CO and
CO2 were collected in PTFE sampling bags. The sampling
procedures are described in more detail below. The
smoke analysis included the determination of the mass
of particulate on the filter, the relative amounts of
organic and elemental carbon in the particulate, the PAH
content of the particulate and gas, the chemical
composition by laser microprobe mass spectroscopy
(LMMS), and the particle size distribution by
transmission electron microscopy and by cascade
impactor. Gas chromatography was used to analyze the CO
and CO2 concentration in the gas samples.