10.2. An Overview of In Situ Burning

10.2.1. The Science of Burning

The fundamentals of in situ burning are similar to that of any fire, namely that fuel, oxygen, and an ignition source are required. Fuel is provided by the vaporization of oil. The vaporization of the oil must be sufficient to yield a steady-state burning, that is, one in which the amount of vaporization is about the same as that consumed by the fire [5]. Once an oil slick is burning, it burns at a rate of about 1–4 mm per minute. This rate is limited by the amount of oxygen available and the heat radiated back to the oil. The oil burn rate is a function of the oil type as well as conditions such as the presence of ice. If not enough vapors are produced, the fire will not start ...

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