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Mechanical Containment and Recovery

Testing of Oil Spill Technologies (TOST) 2023: Performance Testing of Oil Recovery Skimmers with Selected Dielectric Fluids

This project partners with the United States Coast Guard Research and Development Center to test oil recovery skimmer systems to gain insight on the capabilities, limitations, and applicability of using these systems to recover dielectric fluids. The research will focus on types of skimmers referenced for use in the expanding offshore wind energy sector's oil spill response plans. The project will investigate and report on noted differences between recovery of a synthetic mineral oil, a synthetic ester fluid, and a standard test oil.

Test Effort: Analysis of the Efficacy of Conventional Sorbent Materials Exposed to Selected Categories of Dielectric Fluids

This new project will test Type I sorbents efficacy when exposed to three - (3) categories of Dielectric fluids. These will include natural ester, synthetic ester, and mineral oil (hydrocarbon) based fluids. The work will be performed at Ohmsett with testing completed to BSEE Oil Spill Research and Response (OSRR) project specifications. It will compare the findings to a selected control conventional oil product and will provide performance data to stakeholders to facilitate decision making for oil spill preparedness and response operations. 

Development of an Advancing Skimmer Test Protocol

This project will develop a defined, repeatable test protocol for testing advancing skimmer systems. SL Ross will convene a workgroup of oil response subject matter experts who will develop a general test protocol suitable for use with a variety of advancing skimmers. The test protocol will be developed for use at the Ohmsett facility; however, large-scale tank facilities will be considered to broaden the protocol’s applicability.

Research to Support Analysis of Oil Spill Response Plans for Spills on Snow and Solid Ice

This project developed the ROSI calculator tool to facilitate assessment of an operator's oil spill response plan for a well blowout, tank failure, pipeline leak, or other spill that occurs during winter months and results in recovery operations on snow and solid ice using "yellow gear" equipment as described in the Alaska Clean Seas (ACS) Tactics Manual. Further, it asssed whether further research was recommended to verify and potentially update the formulas incorporated into the calculator tool.

Development of a Recovery Efficiency Sensor - Phase II

This project continued development of a Recovery Efficiency (RE) sensor that could be used during oil response operations to measure the percentage of oil and water in recovered fluid across the entire range of concentrations. Currently, responders do not have a method for knowing in real time the percentage of water in recovered fluid. Collecting a large amount of water is inefficient in that it requires responders to halt recovery to offload recovered fluids more often. Having real time concentration data allows the responder to adjust operations to maximize oil recovery.

Testing of Oil Spill Technologies (TOST) Program

This project evaluated four innovative sorbent samples from different manufacturers at the National Oil Spill Response and Renewable Energy Test Facility (Ohmsett). The sorbents underwent a series of experiments to provide the most relevant data about each sorbent for the benefit of spill responders.         
This project was conducted under the Testing of Oil Spill Technologies (TOST) 2022 initiative. 

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.

Shoreline Oil Spill Response Gaps and Opportunities Workshop

A workshop is being developed to discuss impacts of oil spills on shorelines. The workshop will bring together Subject Matter Experts (SME) from the spill response community, academia, and industry for the exchange of ideas and the exploration of the current state of the science of oil spill research. Traditional oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) as well as renewable energy (RE) will be explored. The results of this workshop will help guide BSEE Oil Spill Response Research (OSRR) to develop relevant Research and Technologies (R&T) in fulfillment of BSEE's mission.

Enhancements to Ohmsett's Testing Capabilities in a Drift Ice Environment

This project focused on enhancing Ohmsett’s capability to conduct testing in a drift ice environment. Goals included reduction of test costs and optimization of test time through faster setup of the ice environment. Other goals included enhancing safety and reducing manual labor.

The system was proven in February 2024, and Ohmsett is now fully equipped to effectively and efficiently conduct ice testing to meet ASTM F3350-18 “Standard Guide for Collecting Skimmer Performance Data in Ice Conditions.” 

Advancing the BOWHEAD Vessel Ice Management System

This project will advance the BOWHEAD Vessel Ice Management System, developed under BSEE project 1102 to provide an ice-free zone for oil recovery in drift ice conditions. The contractor will retrofit the BOWHEAD prototype based on recommended enhancements identified during January 2021 testing at Ohmsett. The retrofitted BOWHEAD will be tested at Ohmsett in February 2024 to quantify its ability to improve recovery of oil in drift ice conditions over tactics that are currently specified in Alaska oil spill removal organizations' tactics manuals.  

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