Research Categories / Behavior of Oil

Using Ecology-on-a-Chip (eChip) to Examine Degradation and Microbial Colonization of Rising Oil and Dispersed Oil Droplets

The goal of this project is to use a microfluidic platform (known as eChip) to assess key degradation hypotheses related to dissolution and microbial degradation of untreated and dispersed oil droplets. The objectives are two-fold:
(1) Determine if the degradation rate of rising oil microdroplets (through dissolution and microbial degradation) can be quantified using the eChip by measuring degradation on both untreated and dispersed oil during 14-day biodegradation studies using multiple oils; and 

The Web based General NOAA Oil Modeling Environment (WebGNOME) Anywhere

The current NOAA's WebGNOME platform displays the modeling bounds with available operational forecast models for selected areas. These areas are typically in shoreline areas. This project will expand the availability of forecast models to cover offshore areas where BSEE's regulated facilities reside. This added feature will enable the ability to run WebGNOME more easily, using available operational forecast models.

Determine the Relative Efficiency of Various Surface Dispersant Delivery Techniques/Systems

This project developed a technology selection approach to aid in the decision making process for determining the relative effectiveness of dispersant delivery techniques/systems based on various spill characteristics and delivery system capabilities. Parameters considered include spill characteristics and properties; evaporation processes; spray platforms, weather patters and effects; environmental restrictions; and dispersant characteristics. 

Advancing ICEHORSE proof-of-concept to make it more useful in an operational environment

Recently, under a BSEE contract, Alion integrated its previously designed ROV-based submersible sled technology with a commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) skimmer technology to develop and test a prototype system. A prototype of this system was successfully tested at Ohmsett. (BSEE Project Number 1053,

Deepwater Horizon Lessons Learned - Methodology and Operational Tools to Assess Future Oil Spills

BSEE has teamed up with NOAA to provide control and validation for surface oiling characterization efforts. The ultimate goal was to validate and quantify the capabilities of various remote sensing systems and sensors, provide BSEE and NOAA the needed methodology and operational tools to assess future oil spills, and the ability to monitor and measure more accurately the thickness of surface oil slicks in the marine environment.

Combining Mineral Fines with Chemical Dispersants to Disperse Oil in Low Temperature and Low Mixing Energy Environments

The objective of this research is to assess the feasibility of a cold water and Arctic marine oil spill countermeasure strategy based on the stimulation of OMA formation in the presence of a chemical dispersant. Evaluations will be conducted on both laboratory and wave tank systems under controlled conditions to evaluate the potential effectiveness of treatment of oil spills from shipboard and rig operations.

TAP-287-Fate and Behavior of Deepwater Subsea Oil Well Blowouts in the Gulf of Mexico

To analyze the behavior of oil spilled during a deep water blowout. The study will focus on three questions: What properties and behavior are expected of the oil on the surface, such as slick thickness, area, and dispersibility?;
what cleanup measures, if any, are available and appropriate to deal with the spill?; and
are there any major differences in oil spill behavior and countermeasures between a blowout.

TAP-120-Physical Behavior of Oil in the Ocean

This is a Joint Industry Project (JIP) between MMS and Environment Canada to study oil behavior and oil properties, particularly those of heavy oils. The study includes: buoyancy behavior, solubility, evaporation, dispersion, photo-oxidation, and emulsification. Several information gaps were identified on the behavior of oils where more experimental work is needed: 1) the kinetics of oil emulsification; 2) the rate of solubilization; and 3) the rate of dispersion.