Researchers test oil burning technology
In a project funded by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, researchers from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute have been testing new technology for burning oil spilled on water, BSEE has announced. The technique involves the use of a new heat feedback system that improves the efficiency of the burn, thus reducing the amount of soot emitted and reducing the amount of unburned residue that may sink into the water column.
In-situ burning of the oil is a key component of the toolbox used to respond to an offshore oil spill. When oil burns, most of the oil is converted to carbon dioxide and water vapor. However, incomplete burning results in sooty smoke and can leave an oil residue in the water.
In the final phase of a three-phase study into improved oil burn efficiency, the researchers are testing new burn technology in the U.S. Coast Guard’s Joint Maritime Test Facility on Little Sand Island off the coast of Mobile, Alabama. The researchers will use data collected from the tests to develop a prototype device, deployable in the field for improved in-situ burning, BSEE said.
- ALAN BAILEY