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PhD Thesis Presentation - Influence of Turbulence on Subcooled Nucleate Boiling Facilitated Hydrocarbon Fuel Slick Fire By Li Chang

Friday, March 26, 2021
United States

Fire Protection Engineering Department

Thesis Presentation


Friday, March 26, 2021

10:30 am – 12:30 pm (EDT)


Zoom link:



Influence of Turbulence on Subcooled Nucleate Boiling Facilitated Hydrocarbon Fuel Slick Fire


Li Chang



The burning of hydrocarbon liquid fuel floating on water has been a problem of great interest, as it forms the theoretical basis of the oil spill clean-up technique called in-situ burning (ISB). To understand the burning behavior of such configuration, previous studies expand the focus on a wide spectrum of experimental conditions, such as different fuel types, initial fuel thickness, oil weathering level, pool diameter, etc. Surprisingly, limited studies have considered the turbulent nature of dynamic water surface motion. The current work analyzes the problem of a floating liquid fuel on wavy water by introducing a bench-scale platform capable of simulating ocean-like turbulent conditions in a controllable fashion. Further, this study investigates the application of an immersed conductive metal for burning enhancement under turbulent conditions. Previous studies have shown that by placing metal objects between the flame and fuel layer, the sustained nucleate boiling at the immersed metal section would facilitate the heat and mass transfer and eventually faster burnout of the floating fuel layer. However, the behavior of the bubbles and their interaction with a turbulent field induced by the action of waves for example remains unexplored. The influence of turbulence on the fuel slick burning with immersed conductive objects is analyzed based on: (1) Bubble behavior changes by arriving turbulent eddies, and (2) Mixing and cooling effects at the fuel-water interface. Both are investigated using a parametric experimental study.



Committee members:

Ali S. Rangwala (Advisor, WPI)

Albert Simeoni (FPE Department Head, WPI)

Chih-Jen (Jackie) Sung (UConn, Storrs, CT)

Harri Kytomma (Exponent, Natick, MA)

                                                                                                                                                     Seong-Kyun Im (Korea University and Unive

Diane Poirier
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