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COMBUSTION ENGINEERING & GAS UTILISATION LABORATORY

SKPG 3721

Title of Experiment
POOL FIRE

FACULTY OF CHEMICAL AND ENERGY ENGINEERING


UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MALAYSIA

LECTURER:
DR. MOHD DINIE MUHAIMIN BIN SAMSUDIN
TECHNICANS/TEACHING ASSISTANTS:
EN. JAMAL ASRI BIN OTHMAN

GROUP 4

NO. TEAM MEMBERS MATRIC NUM


1. MUNISRAU A/L KRISHNAPPARAO A15KP0091
2. MUVINES A/L RAJENDRAH A15KP0092
3. NUR HIDAYAH BINTI ABDULLAH A15KP0104

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1.0 ABSTRACT

The purpose of conducting this experiment is to calculate the heat releasing rate (HRR) and
mass burning rate by burning a liquid fuel in variety of circle bare pans with diameter of 8 cm,
10 cm and 20 cm that were filled with ¾ height of kerosene. This experiment is prepared in an
open space and in a ventilation with a gap of 3.6 cm and 5 cm. Height of the flame and time
taken of the fire to put off is recorded where the highest height of flame for 8 cm, 10 cm and
20 cm pan diameter in an open space is 20 cm, 30 cm and 40 cm in 285 s, 227 s, and 152 s
respectively. While the height of flame for ventilation with 3.6 cm gap is 65 cm and 80 cm in
356 s and 193 s whereas for ventilation with 5 cm gap is 60 cm and 55 cm in 276 s and 200 s.

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2.0 INTRODUCTION

Background

A pool fire is a turbulent diffusion fire burning above a horizontal pool of vaporising
hydrocarbon fuel where the fuel has zero or low initial momentum. Fires in the open will be
well ventilated (fuel-controlled), but fires within enclosures may become under-ventilated
(ventilation-controlled). Pool fires may be static (e.g. where the pool is contained) or 'running'
fires.

Problem Statement

There are major uncertainties in the behaviour and properties of fires of condensate and
higher molecular weight and multi-component materials and very large flames of all materials;
behaviour of running fires and of liquids released from pressurised containment. There is
currently no reliable, general method for calculating ventilation-controlled compartment
burning rates, and how they respond to changes in enclosure geometry, ventilation and fuel
spill size. Without this basic knowledge of the rate of fuel consumption it is impossible to
assess the internal temperature and size of external projected flame. External flaming may not
occur if the burning hydrocarbon spill is sufficiently distant from the vent and there is no
piloting at the vent. In this case, unburned fuel vapour is released. The potential for the
generation of explosive mixtures remote from ventilation controlled offshore fires should be
investigated.

Learning Objectives

 To measure the mass-burning rate, flame height and heat release rate during pool fire
experiment
 To determine the effect of ventilation on pool fire development.

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3.0 LITERATURE REVIEW

According Warnatz et al. (2006) a combustion process could be divided into different
categories This based upon whether the fuel and oxidizer (typical air) is mixed first and burned
later (premixed), or whether combustion and mixing occur simultaneous in the combustion
zone (non-premixed). Non-premixed flames are also called diffusion flames since oxygen and
fuel diffuse into each other and the flame occur where they meet. Premixed and non-premixed
combustion are further divided into laminar and turbulent combustion.

The flame of crude oil poop fire is a kind of turbulent combustion flame controlled by
buoyancy. The interface of air and fuel vapour fixes on a certain height above the fuel surface,
which is depended on the chemical equivalent ratio of fuel burning. The flame of the pool fire
can be divided into two parts; lower burning region and upper plume region.

In lower burning region area, the air and fuel mix and burn in stoichiometric ratio, and the
momentum and heat of combustion increase rapidly in vertical direction. While in upper plume
region, the momentum and heat of mixture decline due to no chemical reaction between

air and fuel (Chen & Wei, 2014). These can be seen in Figure 1.

Figure 1 : Schematic of heat and mass transfer in pool fire

Data from small-scale fires cannot be extrapolated to larger-scales, due to the variations
in the phenomenon caused by the change in scale. There are a number of gaps in our knowledge
of large pool fires, including the height of the flame. A complete and detailed review of larger
scales of pool fire is given by Gollahalli and Sullivan but despite these studies, experimental

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information on such fires is still very scarce (Chatris, Quintela, Folch, Planas, & Arnaldos,
2001).

Blinov and Khudiakov (1957) (reported in Drysdale (1999)) studied the rates of burning
for different pool sizes with different hydrocarbon liquids, see Figure 2. In their study, they
discovered that the rate of burning expressed as a ‘regression rate’ R (mm/min) was high for
small-scale laboratory pools and exhibited a minimum around 0.1m diameter. From their
results the regression rate dependents of pool sizes seems to be distinguished in three regimes.
When the diameter is less than 0.03m, the flames are laminar and the regression rate, R, falls
with increase in diameter. For larger diameters (D>1m) the flames are fully turbulent and R
becomes independent of diameter. In the region with pool diameters from 0.03m to 1.0m
transitional behaviour, between laminar and turbulent, is observed. Figure 2 also shows that
different fuels reach their maximum regression rate at different pool diameters.

Figure 2 Scale dependency of burning rate with pan diameter

Heat Release Rate (HRR) is one of the important parameters of pool fire where if it is
known, it can be used to estimate the flame size and radiation to surroundings, and assess likely
flame behaviour in practical situations. Today, it is possible to determine the rate of heat release
experimentally by using the method of oxygen consumption calorimeter but as an alternative
method, HRR can be measured based on mass loss rate using simple scale based on Figure 3.

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.

Figure 3 Flame zone pool fire

4.0 METHODOLOGY

4.1 Pool fire test without ventilation

a. Kerosene is prepared for the experiments.


b. Circle pans with variation of diameter is used in this experiment.
c. An empty beaker is weighted to calculate the weight of kerosene in a circle bare
pan which is filled until ¾ of the total height.
d. The weight of kerosene in circle bare pan is weighted.
e. The circle bare pan is placed on the adjustable mechanical support.
f. The ignition and stopwatch is started at the same time.
g. The highest flame height attained is recorded during this experiment.
h. The time taken of the fire to put off is also recorded.
i. This test is repeated using the same type of fuel (Kerosene) with different
diameter of circle bare pan.

4.2 Pool fire test with ventilation

a. Step a – e in section (1) is repeated in this test.


b. Two Perspex sheets (140 cm X 35 cm) is placed to form a square enclosure with
an open roof top are (35 cm X 35 cm). The gap is ensured to 3.6 cm.
c. The ignition and stopwatch is started at the same time.
d. The highest flame height attained is recorded during this experiment

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5.0 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
5.1 Results

Diameter of Area of the Mass of Time to put Mass Maximum Heat Flux,
the pool pool (m2) fuels (g) off (s) burning rate Flame kW/m2
(m) (kg/m2.s) Height
(m)
0.08 5.027x10-3 11.90 285 54.37x10-3 0.20 5.89x106

0.1 7.854x10-3 29.59 227 16.60x10-3 0.30 3.37x106

0.2 31.416x10-3 27.00 152 5.65x10-3 0.40 5.36x106

Table 1 Tabulated data on experimental result on pool fire without ventilation

Diameter Gap Area of Mass of Time to Mass Flame Heat


of the Distance the pool the fuels put off (s) burning Height release
pool (m) (cm) (m2) (g) rate (m) rate
(kg/m2.s) (HHR),
(X105kW)
0.08 3.6 5.027x10-3 31.42 356 17.56x10-3 0.65 19.023

0.1 3.6 7.854x10-3 29.5 19.47x10-3 0.80 39.544


193
0.08 5.0 5.027x10-3 20.20 14.56x10-3 0.60 15.773
276
0.1 5.0 7.854x10-3 17.23 10.97x10-3 0.55 22.281
200

Table 2 Tabulated data on experimental result on pool fire with ventilation

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0.45
0.4
0.35

flame height (m) 0.3


0.25
0.2
0.15
0.1
0.05
0
0.08 0.1 0.2
pool diameter (m)

Graph 1 Flame Height versus pool diameter without ventilation.

0.9

0.8

0.7

0.6
flame height (m)

0.5

0.4

0.3

0.2

0.1

0
0.08 0.1
diameter pool (m)

Graph 2 Flame height versus pool diameter with ventilation (3.6cm gap)

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0.61
0.6
0.59

flame height (m) 0.58


0.57
0.56
0.55
0.54
0.53
0.52
0.08 0.1
pool diameter (m)

Graph 3 Flame height versus pool diameter with ventilation (5cm gap)

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40
35
30
HHR (x105kW)

25
20
15
10
5
0
0.08 0.1
pool diameter (m)

Graph 4 Heat release rate (HRR) versus pool diameter with ventilation (3.6cm gap)

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25

20

HRR(x105kW)
15

10

0
0.08 0.1
pool diameter (m)

Graph 5 Heat release rate versus pool diameter with ventilation (5cm gap)

5.2 Discussion

From analyzing Graph 1-3, flame height is at highest with ventilation. Without

ventilation the highest flame height obtained is 0.40m. With ventilation, with air gap of

3.6cm, the highest flame height obtained 0.80 m while with air gap of 5cm the flame height

was 0.60 m.

Mass of the fuels was not constant among the pool used. The mass burning rate of fuel

increases as the mass of the fuels increases. During ventilation, the flame structure forms a

swirl. The mass burning rate is higher compared with the experiment without ventilation.

Heat release rate is calculated in the formula given. Bigger diameter produces larger heat

release rate. Heat release rate is affected by surface area.

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5.2.1 Errors and Recommendation

While conducting this experiment, there are some errors that occurred and affected the

experimental value. First, the gap distance between one ventilation to another ventilation is not

too accurate. This error occur because of the parallax error, the eyes of person taking the

reading are not on the same level as the ruler scale. This may give effect to the fire when

unbalanced amount of air being burn with the kerosene. Second, the wind speeds are not in

constant speed that affects the rate of spread of a fire and its intensity. The main errors are the

flame height is not consistent that cause inaccurate measurement of flame height. The fire

starter could not start the fire. Therefore, we lit up a tissue paper and lit the fuel. This delayed

the time taken to put off the fire. Some of the kerosene may be evaporate before the fire start

burned the fuel.

There are several recommendations that can be made to improve the accuracy of this

experiment:

1. Perform reading of flame height and repeat the experiment several times to obtain more

accurate results.

2. Measure the distance between the ventilation accurately by at least two or three people to

get most accurate and same distance value.

3. Weighing and pouring the kerosene into the circular pan should be done carefully. So that

the kerosene would not spill and affect the experiment results.

4. Fire starters should be replaced.

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5.2.2 Safety precautions

1. Always wear goggle and mask at all times to avoid being effected by the soot from the

incomplete combustion.

2. Some surfaces of the systems are hot during operation. Wear gloves to deal with them.

3. Make sure safety equipment such as fire extinguisher is nearby to our reach in case of

emergency.

4. Constantly request supervisors to guide us on something that we are not clear about.

6.0 CONCLUSION
In conclusion, flame height is greater with ventilation due to controlled and crossed wind
turbulence. Pool diameter affects the mass burning rate and also the heat release rate. Bigger
pool diameter increases mass burning rate and heat release rate.

7.0 REFERENCE

Chatris, J. M., Quintela, J., Folch, J., Planas, E., & Arnaldos, J. (2001). Experimental Study of Burning
Rate in Hydrocarbon Pool Fires. Elsevier Science Inc., 2.

Chen, Z., & Wei, X. (2014). Analysis for Combustion Properties of Crude Oil Pool Fire. International
Symposium on Safety Science and Technology, 10.

Shou-Xiang, L., & Ping, J. (2016). Burning Rate and Flame Tilt Angle under Crosswind in Open Space.
Elsevier, 261-274.

Skarsbo, L. R. (2011). An Experimental Study of Pool Fires and Validation of Different CFD Fire
Models. 107.

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