Masters Theses


"Deception and concealment to gain tactical advantage in the battlefield has been an integral part of warfare. Smoke has been a common tool used for signaling, concealment of troop movement and weapon deployment. U.S. Armed Forces have made use of smokes in an organized manner since the 1st world war. Since then various materials such as white phosphorus, zinc chloride, diesel fuel and petroleum oil aerosols have been used to obscure military targets. For the past thirty years fog oil (FO) a medium distillate has been extensively used by the U.S. Armed Forces for generation of obscurant smokes (OS). During this period a number of concerns have expressed regarding its ill effect on human health and the environment. These ill effects have been attributed to the presence of Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). As a result of these concerns the U.S. Armed Forces have made the absence of PAHs a requirement in their specifications (MIL-F-12070C) since 1986. Analysis of even recent batches of FO however, have shown presence of PAHs at up to percent levels. The overall objective of this research was to evaluate suitability of PAH free Vegetable Oil (VO) for OS generation, to alleviate the human health and environmental concerns related with the obscurant smoke training. Experiments were conducted to ascertain the PAH levels in batches of FO and three VOs, namely Soybean Oil (SBO), Sunflower Oil (SFO) and Com Oil (CNO). The performance of the various oils as obscurant materials was evaluated in the lab as well as in the field. Chemical characterization shows that the VOs are essentially free of PAHs. The PAH concentrations particularly in SBO aerosols were below the detection limit of the analytical methods. Lab experiments revealed that the particle size distribution and aerosol stability for the SBO and the FO were essentially the same. VOs were also better IR absorbers than FO, making the VOs more suited to OS operations"--Abstract, page iii.


Kapila, Shubhender

Committee Member(s)

Flanigan, V. J.
Whitefield, Philip D.



Degree Name

M.S. in Chemistry


University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date

Fall 1998


x, 77 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 72-76).


© 1998 Andrew Oliver LaRouche, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 7558

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #


Included in

Chemistry Commons