MadSci Network: Engineering

Subject: What is the function of the 'Fire Chimneys' at refineries?

Date: Fri Apr 9 15:20:47 1999
Posted by Jennifer Baker
Grade level: grad (non-science) School: No school entered.
City: Long Beach State/Province: CA Country: USA
Area of science: Engineering
ID: 923689247.Eg

I live near several large oil refineries.  Every so often, when 
I drive by, I will see one or more (sometimes as many as 10) 
tall "chimneys" spewing out balls of flames.  It seems to be 
some form of exhaust, but I have yet to find a definite answer.  
Are they just burning off excess crude oil?  They are 
fascinating to watch.  Sometimes, the flames are huge & light up 
the night sky!  What is the purpose of these flames, and why do 
they vary in number, size and intensity?

Re: What is the function of the 'Fire Chimneys' at refineries?

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