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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 will continue development of a Recovery Efficiency (RE) sensor that can be used during oil response operations to accurately measure the percentage of oil and water in recovered fluid across the entire range of concentrations. Battelle will enhance functionality of the Phase I prototype including improved accuracy across the entire range of concentrations, ability to account for air in the recovered fluid, addition of wireless data transfer, and packaging of the system for easy deployment and use.

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.

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.

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.

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.  

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.

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