Research Categories / Mechanical Containment and Recovery

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

This project will enhance Ohmsett’s capability to conduct testing in a drift ice environment. These enhancements have been identified through lessons learned from the past nine years of ice testing at Ohmsett. Successful execution of this project will lead to lower overall future test costs, better utilization of the available test time, more repeatable test conditions, and better analysis of the ice field.

Testing of Oil Spill Technologies (TOST) Program

This new project will develop a program for evaluating oil pollution mitigation technologies to provide performance data to stakeholders to facilitate decision making for oil spill preparedness and response operations. Data will be collected through systematic and unbiased testing and disseminated to stakeholders and to the public. BSEE is working with the USCG to initiate this program to conduct testing in October 2022.

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 2023 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.

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

This project will develop a 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 will provide recommendations for further research and/or testing that should be conducted to reassess, verify, and potentially update the formulas incorporated into the calculator tool.

Restricted Burning Tongue

BSEE is pursuing a line of research and plans to conduct full-scale tests of modified boom configurations in the Canadian Multi-Partner Research Initiative Offshore Burn Experiments (MOBE) planned for the summer of 2022. The primary goal of the research is to determine if alternate boom geometries will result in a reduction of particulate matter (PM) and trace pollutants in the plume and reduced amounts of burn residue.

Oil Spill Containment Boom Computational Fluid Dynamics and Physical Modeling Study

This project will investigate towed oil containment boom systems to assess how computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling and physical scaled model testing results may predict full-scale boom performance. The contractor will conduct CFD modeling and physical testing of scaled boom systems at multiple scales. Data obtained will be analyzed to determine their consistency when accounting for scale factors.

The Use of Additive Manufacturing to Investigate Novel Surface Geometries for Improved Oil Skimmer Recovery in Thin Oil Slicks

This project leveraged additive manufacturing (3D printing) to investigate unique and innovative surface geometries that could improve an oleophilic skimmer's oil recovery rate and/or efficiency in thin oil slicks (1/2 inch and less). Deep Analytics evaluated multiple 3D printed surface geometries in a series of tests at their facility. These culminated in an innovative drum skimmer design based on a gyroid surface mapped to a cylinder to create a volumetric recovery capacity.

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.

Recovery of Oil under Solid Ice

This project designed an ROV mounted tooling skid to detect, inspect, and recover pockets of oil under solid ice, and to scrape and remove oil-laden ice crystals formed on the underside of the ice. The tooling skid consists of a pumping system, a manipulator arm with collection nozzle and scraping tool, navigation, and lighting to allow differentiation of oil, water, and ice. It has a standardized “plug and play” power and data protocol such that it can be used with any qualified ROV.

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.