Full-surface fire in an oil refinery's naphtha tank in Tomakomai after the 2003 Tokachi-oki earthquakeIn the 2003 Tokachi-oki earthquake, there was a full-surface fire in a naphtha tank at an oil refinery in the city of Tomakomai. A full-surface fire refers to a fire in which the entire surface area of oil within a tank is exposed to the atmosphere and the oil burns. These types of fires are extremely difficult to extinguish. In this case, the tank fire raged for 44 hours and had a major impact on Japanese society.

Spurred by this fire, we commenced research on more effective methods to extinguish fires caused by flammable liquids, including oil. Oil tank fires are extinguished by covering the burning surface area with fire-fighting foam, thereby cutting off the fire's oxygen supply. We are conducting experiments on actual and model tanks in an effort to explore effective methods for foam-based firefighting in full-surface fires. At the same time, we are working to shed light on the basic characteristics of firefighting foam and the nature of petroleum combustion, including the intensity of heat transmitted to the surrounding area, how such substances burn, the flame temperature and the amount of smoke. This important research is fundamental to the investigation on effecting firefighting methods.

Experiment for determining the relation between the fuel evaporation rate and fire behaviorBoil-over experiment in a small model tank

Evaluation experiment on the fire extinguihing effectiveness of fire-fighting foam

Forecasting the water-stream Quality of a foam monitorAn actual test