Research Categories / Mechanical Containment and Recovery

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 will use additive manufacturing 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 will develop and asses multiple 3D printed surface geometries in a series of tiered tests at their facility. The most promising geometries will be implemented on a set of prototype drums and will be tested at the Ohmsett facility using a commercially available drum skimmer.

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 will develop a remotely operated vehicle (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 will consist of a pumping system, a manipulator arm with a collection nozzle and scraping tool, navigation, and lighting to allow differentiation of oil, water, and ice. It will have 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.

Ice Management for Vessel Oil Recovery Systems

This project supported the design, construction, and testing of an ice deflection system called BOWHEAD. The system can be deployed on the side of a vessel with an existing skimmer system. This project built upon previous work conducted under a Joint Industry Project that developed the MORICE system (BSEE project 310.) The project enhanced the MORICE system based on recommendations made in the MORICE final report. The BOWHEAD focuses on simplicity, scalability, ease of operation, and deployability, and can be paired with multiple commercially available skimming systems.

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.