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Friday, September 11, 2009

Summer intern from Texas worked on drilling oil experiments




Tommy Browder worked within the Fire Group at the University of Edinburgh for two and a half months this summer on the STAR project through the research exchange sponsored by Dr. Janet Ellzey at the University of Texas at Austin.

This is Tommy Browder account of his intern:

"Under the guidance of Dr. Christine Switzer and Dr Paolo Pironi, I conducted a number of bench-scale experiments exploring the robustness of the STAR technique, which utilizes a self-sustained forced smoldering combustion reaction to burn the contaminants, called NAPLs (non-aqueous phase liquids), contained in a wide range of contaminated soils. Specifically, I tested STAR’s ability to remediate drilling oil, and investigated possible means of waste heat utilization and exhaust after-burning. I identified and implemented some necessary adaptations to the experimental set-up which proved successful in remediating drilling oil and will hopefully spur further investigation. In addition, I assisted Dr. Switzer with some drum-scale experiments investigating the composition of the combustion exhaust products and the efficacy of compost in filtering various exhaust products.

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in Edinburgh, and leave amused by colleagues saying that this was a “sunny” summer for Scotland on my way back to Texas, where average temperatures often exceed 35 °C, and the sun nearly always shines during the summer.

Tommy Browder, Mech Eng undergraduate, University of Texas at Austin

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