Research Categories / In Situ Burn Research

Refurbishment of CRREL Wave Tank for in-situ Burning

In its efforts to ensure sufficient facilities to conduct combustion and in situ burn research, BSEE provided funded a project with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to refurbish a portable wave tank previously owned by Alaska Clean Seas in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Relocating the tank to the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) in Hanover, NH allows for better accessibility by the oil spill research community. Additionally, the tank can be coupled with other capabilities hosted by CRREL.

Restricted Burning Tongue

BSEE is pursuing a line of research and plans to conduct full-scale tests of modified boom configurations in the Canadian Multi-Partner Research Initiative Offshore Burn Experiments (MOBE) planned for the summer of 2022. The primary goal of the research is to determine if alternate boom geometries will result in a reduction of particulate matter (PM) and trace pollutants in the plume and reduced amounts of burn residue.

Efficient Remediation of Oil Spills using Fire Whirls – Phase II

The objectives of this project are to 1) characterize the ideal configurations and parameters of fire whirl formation; 2) characterize the effects and burning/combustion efficiencies on emissions from different fire whirl configurations, fuels, and slick thicknesses; 3) further understand the fundamental physics contributing to enhancement in the combustion efficiency of fire whirls verses pool fires; and 4) develop a scaled prototype fire whirl generator for use in a large-scale outdoor test facility.

Advancement of Quantitative Measurements of ISB Volumes and Burn Rates in Open Water

The objective of this project is to enhance an in situ burn (ISB) quantification system previously developed under OSRR Project #1074. The system is designed to provide near real-time quantification of volumes of crude oil being burned thus yielding burn rate and efficiency. A series of small- and large-scale test burns will be conducted to acquire data for algorithms to accurately measure and quantify burning volumes and efficiencies to advance the state of maturity of the technology for commercialization.

Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Deployable Oil Spill Igniter "BSEE IGNITER" - Phase II

This project will focus on maturing the ignition system developed under OSRR #1092, and developing the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) launch module. This new work will advance the maturity of this ignition system to a TRL 7. The full-scale prototype of the technology will be tested and demonstrated with crude oil in the appropriate environment such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) for ignition capabilities in extreme conditions including waves, ice, wind, and current.

Herder Burner System Joint Industry Project

BSEE will participate in a Joint Industry Project with the Prince William Sound Oil Spill Recovery Institute (OSRI) and ExxonMobil to design, develop, and test a spill response system for a single manned helicopter and/or several robotic helicopters. This spill response system can jointly apply chemical herders to a spill and ignite the oil once it has been corralled. This project will

Technology for Accelerated Clean and Complete in situ Burning-Phase I

The long-term objective of this proof-of-concept study is to accelerate and cleanly burn crude oil through a novel heat-feedback system. The research will study the use of heat pipe technology to enhance in situ burns of crude oil by transferring heat from the flames back into the oil slick. In addition to heat pipes, air-flow guide vanes will be studied to induce flame swirl and surface catalyst coatings to crude oil breakdown and combustion will be studied. 

Low Emission Combustor System for Emulsified Crude Oil

The objective of this final phase of research is to transition the Technology Readiness Level of a low-emission, low-pressure atomization and combustor system for emulsified crude oil from 4 to 8 by developing and refining the performance of a half-scale or full-scale flow blurring atomizer spray burner so that the system design can be transferred to a manufacturer.

Advancing the Maturity of the Flame Refluxer Technology

The Flame Refluxer is technology developed under BSEE OSRR Project #1068 that acts as a heat feedback system to enhance in situ burn operations. This new project will advance the technology readiness from a 6 to an 8 with the final integrated system tested in a real or relevant environment. Optimum materials and geometries will be studied for a bimetal heat collector intended for easy storage and deployment.

Analysis of Emissions and Residue from Methods to Improve Combustion Efficiency of In-Situ Oil Burns

The Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Research and Development (ORD) will peform real-time air emissions and residue testing on two BSEE-sponsored, outdoor in situ burn tests at the Army Corp of Engineer's Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab (CRREL) in New Hampshire. ORD will assess emission and residue to characterize the combustion efficiency. ORD will also assess emissions on an additional BSEE OSRR project at CRREL and a crude oil combustion study at the Naval Research Laboratory's (NRL) Chesapeake Beach Detachment.