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Module 5: Fire Fighting Foam Principles and Ethanol-Blended Fuel.

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Presentation on theme: "Module 5: Fire Fighting Foam Principles and Ethanol-Blended Fuel."— Presentation transcript:

1 Module 5: Fire Fighting Foam Principles and Ethanol-Blended Fuel

2 2 Objective Upon the successful completion of this module, participants will be able to develop foam-use strategies for controlling / fighting fires associated with ethanol-blended fuels.

3 3 Introduction Production of ethanol large & likely to continue to increase Predominate danger from tanker trucks & rail cars carrying large amounts of ethanol, manufacturing facilities, & storage facilities Responders need to be prepared for large-scale emergencies & prepared with most effective techniques & extinguishing media

4 4 Basic Foam Principles What is foam? –…an aggregate of air-filled bubbles formed from aqueous solutions which is lower in density than flammable liquids. It is used principally to form a cohesive floating blanket on flammable and combustible liquids, and prevents or extinguishes fire by excluding air and cooling the fuel. It also prevents reignition by suppressing formation of flammable vapors. It has the property of adhering to surfaces, which provides a degree of exposure protection from adjacent fires (NFPA 11).

5 5 Basic Foam Principles Why use foam? –Only agent capable of suppressing vapors & providing visible proof of security –Foam blanket on unignited spill can prevent fire –Suppression of vapors prevents them from finding ignition source

6 6 Basic Foam Principles Why use foam? –Can provide post-fire security by protecting hazard until it can be secured / removed –Can provide protection from flammable liquids for fire & rescue personnel during emergency operations

7 7 Basic Foam Principles How foam works: –Foam can: Exclude oxygen from fuel vapors Cool fuel surface with water content of foam Prevent release of flammable vapors from fuel surface Emulsify fuel

8 8 Basic Foam Principles How foam works: –Foam tetrahedron: Before being used must be proportioned & aerated 4 elements: –Foam concentrate –Water –Air –Aeration Copyright 2007, TEEX/ESTI

9 9 Basic Foam Principles What is foam not effective on? –Foam is not effective on Class C electrical fires: Foam contains 94–97% water & water conducts electricity Class C fires can be extinguished using nonconductive extinguishing agents

10 10 Basic Foam Principles What is foam not effective on? –Foam is not effective on 3-dimensional fires: Recommended to first control spill fire Extinguish flowing fire using dry chemical agent

11 11 Basic Foam Principles What is foam not effective on? –Foam is not effective on pressurized gases: Vapor pressure too high for foam to be effective Examples: –Acetylene –Butadiene –Butane –LPG –Propane –Vinyl chloride

12 Basic Foam Principles What is foam not effective on? –Foam is not effective on combustible metals: Combustible metals usually react with water Fires involving combustible metals require specialized techniques & extinguishing agents 12 Copyright 2009, IAFC

13 13 Basic Foam Principles What is foam effective on? –Effective at suppressing vapors & extinguishing Class B fires –2 categories of Class B products: Hydrocarbons Polar solvents –Hydrocarbons –Polar solvents

14 14 Basic Foam Principles Foam terminology: –Foam concentrate –Foam solution –Finished foam

15 15 Basic Foam Principles Types of foam: –Protein foam –Fluoroprotein foams –AFFF –FFFP –AR foam

16 16 Basic Foam Principles Foam characteristics: –Knockdown –Heat resistance –Fuel tolerance –Vapor suppression –Alcohol tolerance

17 17 Foam Characteristics PropertyProteinFluoroproteinAFFFFFFPAR-AFFF KnockdownFairGoodExcellentGoodExcellent Heat Resistance Excellent FairGood Fuel Tolerance FairExcellentModerateGood Vapor Suppression Excellent Good Alcohol Tolerance None Excellent Source: National Foam

18 18 Basic Foam Principles Foam proportioning & delivery systems: Concentration levels: –Hydrocarbons: 3% –Polar solvents: 6% Foam proportioning systems: –Eductors: In-line eductors: Advantages Property of Chauncey Naylor, reprinted with permission

19 19 Basic Foam Principles Foam proportioning & delivery systems: –Foam proportioning systems: Eductors: –Bypass eductors –Common eductor failures Copyright 2007, TEEX/ESTI Property of Chauncey Naylor, reprinted with permission

20 20 Basic Foam Principles Foam proportioning & delivery systems: –Foam proportioning systems: Foam nozzles: –Foam proportioning nozzles: Advantages Copyright 2007, TEEX/ESTI

21 Hydrant With Foam Nozzle 21 Property of Steve Hergenreter, reprinted with permission

22 22 Basic Foam Principles Foam proportioning & delivery systems: –Foam proportioning systems: Air aspirating nozzles Non-air aspirating nozzles Copyright 2007, TEEX/ESTI

23 23 Basic Foam Principles Application techniques: –Never plunge foam directly into the fuel –Bounce-off: Effective if there is an object in / behind spill area –Bank-in: Particularly effective with non-air aspirating fog nozzles

24 24 Basic Foam Principles Application techniques: –Rain-down: Nozzle elevated & foam allowed to fall over spill as gently as possible

25 25 Foam and Ethanol and Ethanol-Fuel Blends Foams not developed for application on alcohol- / ethanol-blended fuels: –Ineffective on fuels containing alcohols / ethanol: Alcohol / Ethanol attacks & absorbs foam solution

26 26 Foam and Ethanol and Ethanol-Fuel Blends AR foams: –Forms tough membrane between foam blanket & alcohol-type fuel –Crucial to use in combating ethanol-blended fuel fires –Apply gently to surface of alcohols & ethanol-blended fuels

27 27 Foam and Ethanol and Ethanol-Fuel Blends AR foams: –Use Type II application techniques: Apply indirectly to fire –Type III application: Effective only when deflected off surfaces Best option may be to protect surrounding exposures

28 28 Foam and Ethanol and Ethanol-Fuel Blends Require higher flow rate of foam to extinguish fires: –AFFF-type: 1 gpm foam / 10 ft 2 burning surface on hydrocarbon-type fuel –Ethanol-blended fuels: 2 gpm foam / 10 ft 2 of AR type foam

29 29 Foam Recommendations for Fire Departments Consider converting to AR foam concentrates Develop means of having cache of AR foam readily available: –Use of airport resources as a mutual aid source may not be feasible Ensure foam is UL certified

30 30 Foam Recommendations for Fire Departments AR foams effective on both alcohol & hydrocarbon fires: –Some have quicker knockdown abilities & longer foam retention times than protein-based hydrocarbon foams –Thermal imaging camera use recommended –Foam delivery systems such as foam tanks & totes cannot be shaken & remixed easily –Foam can stratify; must have maintenance program for re-agitation

31 Ethanol Fire Through a Thermal Imaging Camera 31 Property of Steve Hergenreter, reprinted with permission

32 32 Foam Recommendations for Fire Departments Copyright ERG

33 33 Foam Recommendations for Fire Departments AR foams effective on both alcohol & hydrocarbon fires: –Uncertain if fire is alcohol- / ethanol-blended: Consider doubling application rate –Foam of choice

34 EERC Video Responding to Ethanol Incidents 34 Copyright 2009, TEEX/ESTI

35 35 Summary AR-AFFF foam best choice for incidents AR-AFFF foam recommended choice for all fuel fires involving gasoline- / ethanol-blended fuels AR-AFFF foam performs on hydrocarbon fires as well: –Preferred choice from response standpoint if nature of burning fuel is unclear


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