This study is the result of a joint U.S. Coast Guard/Maritime Administration effort to identify fire prevention and suppression techniques for spontaneously induced coal cargo fires. Four test series were conducted to investigate spontaneous ignition, permeation, fire quench, and coal column fire characteristics. The spontaneous ignition tests identified variables that could be controlled in an attempt to prevent combustion. Results showed that spontaneous ignition is difficult to predict and, therefore, control. The permeation studies evaluated carbon dioxide and nitrogen as suppression agents. Results indicate the retention time of nitrogen in a coal pile to be far greater than the retention time of carbon dioxide. The fire quench tests compared these agents when applied to a hot fire. Results show that both are equally effective at displacing oxygen. The coal column tests applied these agents to a deep-seated fire at different locations. Results support those of the permeation studies and show mid-level injection of the agents to be most effective. Thus, the study indicates that a portable system that applies nitrogen to the middle of the coal pile is the most effective fire suppresion method. Large-scale work should be undertaken to verify this.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Report
  • Corporate Authors:

    Coast Guard, Marine Fire and Safety Research Division

    Groton, CT  United States 

    United States Coast Guard

    2100 Second Street, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20593

    Maritime Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Schultz III, H E
    • Richards, R C
  • Publication Date: 1990-3

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 122 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00660960
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Maritime Technical Information Facility
  • Report/Paper Numbers: CG-M-2-90, CG-MFSRD-49
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jul 21 1994 12:00AM