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Optical Measurement of Toxic Gases Produced during Firefighting Using Halons

Volume 51, Number 5 (May 1997) Page 678-683

McNesby, Kevin L.; Daniel, Robert G.; Miziolek, Andrzej W.; Modiano, Steven H.


Several optical techniques (FT-IR emission and absorption spectroscopy, mid- and near-infrared tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy) have been used to measure toxic gases produced during inhibition of flames by halogenated hydrocarbons (Halons). Fire types studied include low-pressure premixed flames, counterflow diffusion atmospheric-pressure flames, open-air JP-8 (turbine fuel) fires, and confined JP-8 fires. Spectra are presented and analyzed for these fires inhibited by CF3Br (Halon 1301) and C3F7H (FM- 200). For low-pressure premixed flames, spectra are presented which show production of the CF3. radical in methane/oxygen/Ar flames inhibited by CF3Br. For large-scale fire testing, it is shown that the type and amount of toxic gases produced during fire inhibition are highly dependent on fire conditions and temperatures and that some species not considered important (CF2O) are often pro- duced in significant amounts. Finally, it is shown that HF production, during inhibition of vehicle fires using FM-200, is highly dependent on time to suppression.