WO1996033777A1 - Fire extinguishing composition - Google Patents

Fire extinguishing composition Download PDF

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Publication number
WO1996033777A1
WO1996033777A1 PCT/US1996/005789 US9605789W WO9633777A1 WO 1996033777 A1 WO1996033777 A1 WO 1996033777A1 US 9605789 W US9605789 W US 9605789W WO 9633777 A1 WO9633777 A1 WO 9633777A1
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WO
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
composition
sodium
sulfate
surfactant
phosphate
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US1996/005789
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Conrad S. Mikulec
Original Assignee
Silica Sales Proprietary Ltd.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A62LIFE-SAVING; FIRE-FIGHTING
    • A62DCHEMICAL MEANS FOR EXTINGUISHING FIRES OR FOR COMBATING OR PROTECTING AGAINST HARMFUL CHEMICAL AGENTS; CHEMICAL MATERIALS FOR USE IN BREATHING APPARATUS
    • A62D1/00Fire-extinguishing compositions; Use of chemical substances in extinguishing fires
    • A62D1/0071Foams
    • A62D1/0085Foams containing perfluoroalkyl-terminated surfactant
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A62LIFE-SAVING; FIRE-FIGHTING
    • A62DCHEMICAL MEANS FOR EXTINGUISHING FIRES OR FOR COMBATING OR PROTECTING AGAINST HARMFUL CHEMICAL AGENTS; CHEMICAL MATERIALS FOR USE IN BREATHING APPARATUS
    • A62D1/00Fire-extinguishing compositions; Use of chemical substances in extinguishing fires
    • A62D1/0028Liquid extinguishing substances
    • A62D1/0057Polyhaloalkanes

Abstract

A fire extinguishing composition includes a fluorinated polymer, a surfactant, and water. The surfactant has the formula: MRX, where M is Na, Li, K or NH4; R is a straight chain alkyl having between 5 and 8 carbon atoms; and X is sulfate or phosphate. The composition can further include a solvent for the fluorinated polymer, such as water and ethanol. The fluorinated polymer is preferably a polyfluorinated alkyl betaine. A method for extinguishing fires is also disclosed.

Description

FIRE EXTINGUISHING COMPOSITION

Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to fire extinguishing compositions, and more particularly to fire extinguishing compositions for application to hydrocarbon fires.

Background of the Invention

There is a continuing need to develop effective compositions for extinguishing fires. Particularly, there is a need for effective liquid fire extinguishing compositions. Liquid compositions are more easily transported, stored, and applied than pressurized canisters such as the traditional C02 canisters. Liquid compositions also have distinct advantages when fighting large fires, since the liquid can be dispersed over a wide area using a suitable dispensing nozzle or orifice. Water has long been used as an effective liquid fire extinguishing composition. Water has a number of disadvantages. Relatively large quantities of water are required to extinguish a fire, and large quantities of water may not be readily available or practical. Water is not a very good fire extinguishing composition for hydrocarbon fires, such as grease fires, oil fires, tar fires, and the like, because the hydrocarbons repel the water. Also, these "Class B" fuels fires burn hotter and faster than many other kinds of fires due to the efficiency of hydrocarbons as a fuel for oxidation reactions. Compositions for efficiently extinguishing out such fires are therefore desired. A standard measure for the effectiveness of a fire extinguishing composition typically for hydrocarbon fires is Test Standard UL 162 as prescribed by Underwriters Laboratories Inc. , of Northbrook, IL. This test measures both the effectiveness of the composition at initially extinguishing the fire, as well as the ability of the composition to retard re-ignition of the fire, or "burn back". A fifty square foot pan is filled with four inches of water. A two inch layer of N-heptane is added, and floats on the surface of the water. The N-heptane is then ignited and allowed to burn for one minute. The fire extinguishing composition is then distributed across the surface of the pan at a rate of two gallons per minute. The fire must be extinguished within three minutes. A torch flame is applied about one inch from the surface of the foam from minutes four to five. No candle flame must be produced which can sustain itself for more than thirty seconds. The torch test is repeated from the sixth minute to the seventh minute. At eight minutes, a 12 inch stove pipe is placed vertically into the pan, two and one half feet from the corner of the pan with the least consistency of foam. The N-heptane within the pipe is reignited at nine minutes, and after one minute the pipe is removed. The tested composition must prevent the fire from spreading to more than 20% of the surface area of the pan between minute 10 and minute 15 in order to pass the test.

Many compositions are known for effectively extinguishing hydrocarbon fires. One class of such compounds are fluorinated polymers, which are applied to the fire with a carrier. Ethanol is a common carrier, despite its flammability, as the flammability is insignificant relative to the amount of fire extinguishing composition that is being applied. The fluorinated polymer is typically applied with a surfactant, which helps to distribute the polymer across the surface of the fuel and to prevent agglomeration of the polymer. Agglomeration will result in gaps in the polymer layer, which will permit oxygen to reach the fuel and to allow the flame propagation. Fluorocarbon compounds have received increasing scrutiny for environmental concerns. It is therefore desired to reduce the amount of fluorocarbon compounds in products including fire extinguishing products.

Summary of the Invention It is an object of the invention to provide a fire extinguishing composition which will effectively extinguish hydrocarbon fires.

It is another object of the invention to provide a fire extinguishing composition which will pass Test Standard UL 162 of Underwriter's Laboratories, Inc.

It is still another object of the invention to provide a fire extinguishing composition which will require reduced amounts of fluorocarbon compounds.

These and other objects are provided by a fire extinguishing composition comprising a fluorinated polymer and a surfactant for the fluorinated polymer. The surfactant comprises at least one of a sulfate or phosphate having the general formula

MRX

where M is a salt forming cation selected from the group consisting of Na, Li, K, and NH4; R is a straight chain alkyl having from 5 to about 8, and preferably less than 8 carbon atoms; and X is a sulfate or phosphate group.

Preferred surfactants are sodium hexyl sulfate and sodium octyl sulfate. These surfactants can be used alone or in combination, as well as in combination with other surfactants. A preferred fluorinated polymer is Forafac 1157 or 1157N, a trademark of Elf-Atochem North America, Inc. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This product is polyfluorinated alkyl betaine, in a solvent of ethanol and water. Other fluorinated polymers are possible. Such products are described in EP621057A, the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference.

Detailed Description of the Preferred Embodiments The fluorinated polymer can be selected from a number of different polymers suitable for extinguishing fires, and particularly hydrocarbon fires. A currently preferred fluorinated polymer is that produced under the trademark Forafac 1157 and 1157N, a product of Elf-Atochem North America, Inc. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Forafac 1157N is an amphoteric perfluoroalkyl surfactant manufactured as a 27% active solution of RFCH2CH2S02NHCH2CH2CH2N(+) (CH3) 2CH21COO(-) .

The solvent medium of Forafac 1157 and 1157N is a mixture of ethanol and water. A 27% active solution of Forafac 1157N contains 27% of fluoroalkyl betaine, 11% ethanol and the balance water. The fluorinated polymer is preferably carried by a suitable solvent medium. The fluorinated polymer can also be mixed with a combination of solvents for the polymer.

Surfactants suitable for the invention include those having formula MRX

where M is selected from Na, Li, K and NH4; R is a straight chain alkyl having between 5 and 8 carbons, and preferably having less than 8 carbons; and X is a sulfate group or a phosphate group. Currently preferred surfactants are sodium hexyl sulfate and sodium octyl sulfate. Also, as the number of carbons is reduced, free alcohol will accumulate in the product and must be stripped out of the polymer product by suitable stripping processes known in the art. The stripping processes will remove water with the alcohol, which can have the added advantage of permitting the product to be shipped in a dry or reduced-weight condition. The water can be added at the desired location where the final composition is prepared.

The polymer, solvent, and surfactant are mixed together in proportions which will vary depending on the particular polymers, solvents, and surfactants that are used. The final, mixed solution is diluted in water. In general, the fewer the number of carbons in the straight chain surfactant, the less of the surfactant that will be necessary. Suitable compositions are illustrated as follows where all percentages, unless indicated otherwise are by weight of the composition.

Example 1 A fire extinguishing composition was prepared having the formula:

(Forafac 1157N™) 2 lbs.

Sodium octyl sufate 12.125 lbs.

Water 87.875 lbs.

Example 2 A fire extinguishing composition was prepared having the formula:

(Forafac 1157N™) 2 lbs.

Sodium octyl sufate 6.6 lbs.

Water 93.4 lbs.

Example 3

A fire extinguishing composition was prepared having the formula:

(Forafac 1157N™) 2 lbs. Sodium hexyl sulfate 5.0 lbs.

Water 95 lbs. Example 4

A fire extinguishing composition can be prepared having the formula: (Forafac 1157N™) 1 lbs.

Sodium pentyl sulfate 12.125 lbs.

Water 87.875 lbs.

Example 5 The composition of Example 1 was applied as a 3% solution (by weight) with water to extinguish a fire under the procedures described in Test Standard UL 162 of Underwriter's Laboratories, Inc., as described above. The solution extinguished the fire in approximately one minute and thirty five seconds, and passed the Test 162 requirements that the fire not spread to more than 20% of the surface area of the panin minutes 10 to 15.

Several other surfactants known in the art are possible for use with the invention. Several surfactants are described in Collier et al, U.S. Patent No. 4,007,124 and Barrat, et al, U.S. Patent No. 4,111,855. The disclosures of these patents are incorporated fully by reference. The preferred compositions according to the invention have between about 0.5% and about 4% (by weight) of fluorinated polymer (Forafac 1157N) , between about 5.5 and about 16% surfactant, and between about 80 and about 94% water.

The solution can be applied to a fuel which is under combustion in any suitable manner. The solution can be sprayed, dumped, injected or otherwise distributed in any manner suitable for a liquid and such that the composition will cover the surface of the fuel. The composition will form a foam on the top of the fuel, which will prevent oxygen from reaching the fuel and thereby will prevent flame propogation and extinguish the fire.

The fluorinated polymer is heat resistant and floats on a top of fuels such as oil. The surfactant holds the polymer together so that a substantially continuous layer is formed over the fuel to prevent oxygen from reaching the fuel and thus prevent flame propagation. The higher the number of carbons in the surfactant, generally the more of the surfactant will be necessary to put out the same fire. Ethanol, if present as a solvent for the fluorinated polymer, will flash upon reaching the hot fire.

The invention provides a composition which preferably has less than 0.5% fluorine, based on the weight of the total composition. The composition ca be shipped as a concentrate. Water is added at the place where the final composition is desired, preferably to 97% by weight of the total composition. The invention can be provided in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential attributes thereof, and accordingly, reference should be had to the following claims, rather than to the foregoing specification as indicating the scope thereof.

Claims

I claim :
1. A fire extinguishing composition, comprising: a fluorinated polymer; a surfactant having the formula MRX where M is at least one selected from the group consisting of Na, Li, K and NH4; R is a straight chain alkyl having between 5 and 8 carbons; and X is sulfate or phosphate; and water.
2. The composition of claim 1, wherein M is Na and R is straight chain alkyl having less than 8 carbons.
3. The composition of claim 2, wherein X is sulfate.
4. The composition of claim 3, wherein the surfactant is sodium hexyl sulfate.
5. The composition of claim 3, wherein the surfactant is sodium octyl sulfate.
6. The composition of claim 1, comprising, by weight of the total composition, between about 0.5% and about 4% of fluorinated polymer, between about 5.5% and about 16% of surfactant, and between about 80% and about 94% of water.
7. The composition of claim 1, wherein the fluorinated polymer is a polyfluorinated alkyl betaine.
8. The composition of claim 7, wherein the fluorinated polymer is provided as a solution of polyfluorinated alkyl betaine in ethanol and water.
9. The composition of claim 8, wherein the solids content is 27%, by weight.
10. The composition of claim 1, wherein the fluorinated polymer is at least one selected from the group consisting of Forafac 1157 and 1157N.
11. The composition of claim 1, comprising, by weight of the composition, between about 0.5 and about 4 % Forafac 1157, between about 5.5% and about 16% sodium octyl sulfate, and between about 80% and about 94% ater.
12. The composition of claim 1, comprising, by weight of the composition, between about 0.5 and about 4% Forafac 1157, between about 5.5 and about 16 % sodium hexyl sulfate, and between about 80 and about 94% water.
13. The composition of claim 1, wherein said surfactant is at least one selected from the group consisting of sodium octyl sulfate, sodium heptyl sulfate, sodium hexyl sulfate, sodium pentyl sulfate, and mixtures thereof.
14. The composition of claim 1, wherein said surfactant is at least one selected from the group consisting of sodium decyl phosphate, sodium nonyl phosphate, sodium octyl phosphate, sodium heptyl phosphate, sodium hexyl phosphate, sodium pentyl phosphate, and mixtures thereof.
15. The composition of claim 1, wherein said surfactant comprises at least one selected from the group consisting of sodium octyl phosphate, sodium heptyl phosphate, sodium hexyl phosphate, sodium pentyl phosphate, and mixtures thereof.
16. A fire extinguishing composition comprising: a fluorinated polymer; a surfactant selected from the group consisting of sodium decyl sulfate, sodium nonyl sulfate, sodium octyl sulfate, sodium hexyl sulfate, sodium pentyl sulfate, and mixtures thereof; and, water.
17. A fire extinguishing composition, comprising: at least one fluorinated alkyl betaine, ethanol, water, and at least one surfactant, the surfactant having a straight chain alkyl group with between 5 and 8 carbons, and having no branched carbon chains, said surfactant further comprising a sulfate group and at least one selected from the group consisting of Na, K, Li and NH4.
18. A fire extinguishing composition, comprising: at least one fluorinated alkyl betaine, ethanol, water, and at least one surfactant, the surfactant having a straight chain alkyl group with between 5 and 8 carbons, and having no branched carbon chains, said surfactant further comprising a phosphate group and at least one selected from the group consisting of Na, K, Li and NH4.
19. A method for extinguishing fires, comprising the steps of: preparing a solution comprising a fluorinated polymer, water, and at least one surfactant having the formula
MRX
where M is Na, K Li or NH4; R is a straight chain alkyl having between 5 and 8 carbons; and X is sulfate or phosphate; distributing said composition across the surface of a fuel under combustion.
20. The method of claim 19, wherein said fluorinated polymer is a fluorinated alkyl betaine, and said surfactant is at least one selected from the group consisting of sodium octyl sulfate, sodium heptyl sulfate, sodium hexyl sulfate, and sodium pentyl sulfate.
PCT/US1996/005789 1995-04-25 1996-04-25 Fire extinguishing composition WO1996033777A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US42802395 true 1995-04-25 1995-04-25
US08/428,023 1995-04-25

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU5715496A AU5715496A (en) 1995-04-25 1996-04-25 Fire extinguishing composition

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Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US7011763B2 (en) * 2001-11-27 2006-03-14 Chemguard Incorporated Fire extinguishing or retarding material
WO2010139124A1 (en) * 2009-06-04 2010-12-09 Duan Guomin Enviroment friendly water-based fire extinguishing agent

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3957657A (en) * 1971-04-06 1976-05-18 Philadelphia Suburban Corporation Fire fighting
US4099574A (en) * 1976-04-06 1978-07-11 Chubb Fire Security Limited Fire-fighting compositions
US5085786A (en) * 1991-01-24 1992-02-04 Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing Company Aqueous film-forming foamable solution useful as fire extinguishing concentrate
US5207932A (en) * 1989-07-20 1993-05-04 Chubb National Foam, Inc. Alcohol resistant aqueous film forming firefighting foam

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3957657A (en) * 1971-04-06 1976-05-18 Philadelphia Suburban Corporation Fire fighting
US4099574A (en) * 1976-04-06 1978-07-11 Chubb Fire Security Limited Fire-fighting compositions
US5207932A (en) * 1989-07-20 1993-05-04 Chubb National Foam, Inc. Alcohol resistant aqueous film forming firefighting foam
US5085786A (en) * 1991-01-24 1992-02-04 Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing Company Aqueous film-forming foamable solution useful as fire extinguishing concentrate

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US7011763B2 (en) * 2001-11-27 2006-03-14 Chemguard Incorporated Fire extinguishing or retarding material
WO2010139124A1 (en) * 2009-06-04 2010-12-09 Duan Guomin Enviroment friendly water-based fire extinguishing agent

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