The purpose of Sweet Spot in Burning Emulsions project is to study how emulsions break and boil during in situ burning (ISB), which is a multi-physics process that includes radiative and convective heat transfer to the slick, any mechanical work that is driving emulsion formation, hydrocarbon and water evaporation, and internal heat transfer as the water either flash evaporates or separates and sinks. Previous work under OSRR 1085 resulted in a potential trend indicating an increase in burning efficiency in emulsions with 20% water content. This project will require the growing of emulsions at the lab- and drum-scales at Ohmsett. Data and analysis from this effort will also inform a continued BSEE OSPD to better understand emulsions and their implications to oil spill response methods.
Water-in-oil emulsions of various oils with various concentrations of water have been created for ignition, chemical, and data analysis. The interagency agreement with the Naval Research Lab (NRL) is in the process of being modified to extend the period of performance to October 31, 2023.