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Static Electricity Generated During the Distribution of Gasolene


Wouk, Victor (1942) Static Electricity Generated During the Distribution of Gasolene. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/9HN9-EE76.


This research project was undertaken to determine the exact hazard represented by static electricity when it is generated during the distribution of gasolene. "Equivalent electrical circuits" have been utilized which, with the knowledge of the magnitude of charge developed under different conditions, enable one to predict the voltages that will be present and the subsequent chances of sparks occurring and possible fires or explosions resulting.

The amount of charge developed when gasolenes are pumped through pipes has been measured, and several factors influencing the magnitude of this charge have been determined. The problem of "tire static" was investigated, and the general order of magnitude of currents generated by trucks or other rubber-tired vehicles in motion, has been established.

A series of experiments was made in an attempt to determine the amount of energy needed in a spark, caused by a condenser discharge, to ignite a combustible mixture of gasolene and air. It was found that relatively small amounts of resistance in series with a spark gap may, in certain cases completely eliminate the ability of a spark to ignite gasolene vapors. There is apparently a minimum wattage required to ignite combustible mixtures.

All the measurements and analyses indicate that the precautions commonly practiced in the petroleum industry are more than adequate to eliminate all the hazard of fire or explosion due to static electricity.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Electrical Engineering)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Electrical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Mackeown, Samuel Stuart
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1942
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-12022004-153844
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4716
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:02 Dec 2004
Last Modified:10 Nov 2023 00:22

Thesis Files

PDF (Wouk_v_1942.pdf) - Final Version
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