A mathematical model for in-situ burning of water-in-oil emulsions

Ajey Walavalkar, Anil K. Kulkarni

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The combustion process of a water-in-oil emulsion layer floating on top of a water body, as in case of in-situ burning of oil spilled at sea that has turned into emulsion, is modeled using comprehensive mathematical treatment. The burning process is divided into three regimes, as follows. 1. Initial regime, when the emulsion layer floating on the ocean surface receives heat flux from an external source such as an igniter or a burning oil pool; 2. Intermediate regime, from the instant when there is first appearance of oil layer on the top of the emulsion layer due to breaking of emulsion until the oil starts evaporating; and, 3. The final regime, which is characterized by the combustion of oil vapor and continues till the fire extinguishes. In arctic regions, the ignition delay and removal efficiency may possibly be affected by the temperature of the water table (or ice) and other surrounding conditions. The purpose of this model is to find out whether the emulsion layer will burn, and if so, calculate the ignition delay, predict how long will it burn, and determine the efficiency of oil and emulsion removal by the combustion process. Important parameters include the composition of emulsion layer in % water content, layer thickness, and the incident heat flux.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 1997
Event20th Arctic and Marine Oil Spill Program Technical Seminar 1997 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: Jun 11 1997Jun 13 1997


Conference20th Arctic and Marine Oil Spill Program Technical Seminar 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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