<italic>In Situ</italic> Burning Alternatives

by Brian Cohen

Institution: University of Maryland
Department: Fire Protection Engineering
Year: 2014
Record ID: 2043958
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1903/16178


<italic>In situ</italic> burns have been used to remove oil spills for decades. They are relatively easy and inexpensive to administer, and are one of the only methods that is effective for crude oil spill remediation over a body of water. There are, however, environmental implications stemming from burning large quantities of crude oil, which has brought about the need for alternative removal techniques. Skimming and chemical dispersant procedures are frequently employed but have severe limitations and environmental drawbacks. Several new methods have been developed that use elements of nature such as cotton and peat moss, but these are only effective when implemented close to the shoreline. For spills that occur in the middle of the ocean, these processes are rendered useless, and as such, require the implementation of <italic>in situ</italic> burning. This study assesses a way in which <italic>in situ</italic> burning can be improved in order to minimize the environmental damage that can occur with crude oil removal. Through the research conducted in this thesis, it is proposed that the application of a fire whirl may mitigate the damage while also improving the removal rate of a crude oil spill located on a body of water.