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JMTF Tests Oil Burn Blanket

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Testing a copper blanket to burn spilled oil more efficiently from the water

The RDC plans to complete installation of a new wavemaker system in May that will help simulate realistic conditions on open water. U.S. Coast Guard photo.


The Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC), the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) tested a copper blanket designed by WPI to burn spilled oil more efficiently from the water. The test was conducted at the Joint Maritime Test Facility in Mobile, Alabama, March 13-17, 2017.

Burning is an efficient way to clean up oil spills on the ocean. The blanket, called a Flame Refluxer, uses copper coils to redirect the rising heat from a fire back down into the oil slick, significantly increasing the temperature of the burn. A hotter fire burns the oil quicker and consumes more of the oil instead of releasing it as oily smoke that can cause environmental damage.

For more information: Research, Development, Test and Evaluation program page