MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: Can we pervent accident induced fires ?

Date: Tue Jan 16 17:31:00 2001
Posted By: Donald E Duggan, Undergraduate, Astronomy/physics - fire science, just plain ol' home
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 979617143.Ch

What a thoughtful and beautiful question you pose. I suppose the 
technology is there to do what you want to do but the money isn't, which 
kind of shows you they way that the world is driven. The best answer to 
your question is probably in better battery operated cars, an area you can 
bet the oil companies have their hands in in a very big negative way. Were 
you to be able to convert sunlight into energy to move your car down the 
road Libya, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait and a whole lot of interested American 
Companies like those which George W Bush and Richard Cheney are associated with 
would stand to lose millions of dollars. Their philosophy is use all the 
oil now and get the best price possible as supplies dwindle and look for 
alternatives later. 

But back to your Question: Believe it or not one of 
the best things you can do after an accident is to turn the ignition 
off is able due to the fact that many auto fuel pumps are electrically 
operated and fuel the fire. Other wise about the only way you could help 
would be to keep the fumes the fuel produces from reaching a source of
ignition. Easier said than done. In the meantime, the best way to look for 
solutions like the ones which you already looking for is through better and more 
innovative engeneering, like fuel pumps which shut down automatically if they 
are no longer horizontal, better built fuel tanks and fuel delivery 

It's silly to have the fuel tank stored so far back from where it is needed, 
which is near the engine. I suppose this was first done for safety reasons, but 
one would think one could get round such things in 2001. But who am I? Just a 
guy with an implant in his chest which saves his life on the order of five times 
a year.

Thanks for your question.

Donald E Duggan

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