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Evaluation of Propane as a Fuel for Testing Fire-Resistant Oil Spill Containment Booms.

pdf icon Evaluation of Propane as a Fuel for Testing Fire-Resistant Oil Spill Containment Booms. (365 K)
Walton, W. D.; Twilley, W. H.; Mullin, J. V.

NIST SP 995; Volume 2; March 2003.

Environment Canada. Arctic and Marine Oilspill Program (AMOP) Technical Seminar, 20th. Volume 2. Proceedings. June 11-13, 1997, Alberta, Canada, Environment Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, 755-767 pp, 1997.


crude oil; oil spills; propane; containment; evaluation; in situ burning; experiments; instruments; heat flux; JP-8 jet fuel; wind velocity; wind direction; tank fires


As the understanding of the capabilities and limitations of in situ burning of oil spills increases, in situ burning continues to gain acceptance as a potential oil spill mitigation tool. Most plans for burns at sea call for the use of a fire-resistant boom to contain the oil during burning. Presently a standard method for evaluating fire-resistant booms does not exist. Most of the proposed test methods and experiments conducted to evaluate fire-resistant booms utilize liquid hydrocarbon fuels for the fire exposure. While these fuels can generate realistic thermal exposures, the smoke emitted from these fires presents environmental concerns and limits the location and conditions under which tests can be conducted. Propane bubbled through water is being widely used to replace liquid hydrocarbon pool fires for fire fighter training. A series of experiments has been conducted to measure and compare the thermal exposure to a fire-resistant boom from liquid hydrocarbon fuel and propane fires. In addition, the thermal exposures from propane fires have been measured with and without waves. Although propane diffusion flames on water look like liquid hydrocarbon fuel flames and produce very little visible smoke, the heat flux at the boom location from the propane fires is approximately 60% of that from liquid hydrocarbon fuel fires.