Research Categories / Chemical Treating Agents

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 

Update of the Ohmsett Dispersant Effectiveness Test Protocol

This project updated the Dispersant Effectiveness (DE) test protocol used at Ohmsett, the National Oil Spill Response Research and Renewable Energy Test Facility. Ohmsett is the largest facility of its kind and offers significant advantages for testing response technologies such as dispersants in simulated field conditions. The original DE test protocol was developed between 2000-2003.

Herder Burner System Joint Industry Project

BSEE will participate in a Joint Industry Project with the Prince William Sound Oil Spill Recovery Institute (OSRI) and ExxonMobil to design, develop, and test a spill response system for a single manned helicopter and/or several robotic helicopters. This spill response system can jointly apply chemical herders to a spill and ignite the oil once it has been corralled. This project will

Validating and Expanding the Dispersant Spray Drift Decision Support Tool

This project is a follow-on to Project 1070 Developing an Innovative Dispersant Spray Model, where AMOG Consulting developed the Dispersant Spray Drift (DSD) tool.  The DSD is intended to help spill response planners identify operational windows and setback distances based on weather conditions, aircraft types, dispersant spray systems and release rates. Project 1115 will aim to validate any previous assumptions, expand the DSD to include new oil spill response aircraft,  and add concentration contours to the output display to improve the user interface.

Operational Limits of Chemical Herders

This study measured the influence of oil characteristics and temperature on herder efficacy at the lab scale. ARA systematically tested the function of chemical herders across several crude oils. Both commercially available herders were tested. The herders were tested on crude oils with varying properties. This project developed a repeatable method for testing herder effectiveness. Parameters for herder effectiveness were also identified. A total of 14 oils were tested with the two herders at two temperatures.

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. 

Oil Composition vs. Dispersant Effectivness

This project further investigated the relationship between the oils' chemical composition and viscosity on dispersant effectiveness. The viscosity, saturates, aromatics, resins, and asphaltene content were determined for the oils tested.  Approximately 14 oils were tested against two dispersants at two temperatures. The baffled flask method was used, along with the LISST and acoustics, to determine dispersant effectiveness. 

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Response Viability Analysis

The objective of this project is to conduct an oil spill response viability analysis for the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Gulf of Mexico (GOM).  This analysis will quantify the frequency and duration that a specific oil spill response strategy may not be feasible or ‘unduly’ impacted such that response effectiveness is judged to be degraded due to metocean conditions.  Conditions to be considered in the analysis include wind, sea state, salinity,  and visibility using available hindcast environmental data.

Comparative Testing of Corexit EC9500A, Finasol OSR 52, Accell Clean DWD, Marine D-Blue Clean, and ZI 400 at Ohmsett

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is conducting comparative dispersant testing in warm water at the Ohmsett Facility test basin.  This work builds off of the cold water test conducted in 2014 (Project OSRR 1016). Five dispersants were selected from the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Contingency Plan (NCP) Product Schedule and were tested on a Gulf of Mexico crude at Ohmsett. They include Corexit® EC9500A, Finasol® OSR 52, Accell® Clean DWD, Marine D-Blue Clean, and ZI 400.