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OSRR-529-Analysis of Dispersant Effectiveness of Heavy Fuel Oils and Weathered Crude Oils at Two Different Temperatues Using the Baffled Flask Test

Office/Division Program
Project Number
Research Initiation Date (Award Date)
Research Performing Activity
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and the University of Cincinnati (UC)
Research Principal Investigator
Dr. Albert Venosa (U.S. EPA) and Dr. George Sorial (UC)
Research Contracting Agency

At-sea field tests were completed in the summer of 2003 in the UK and in the fall of 2003 at Ohmsett to determine the dispersibility of IFO 180 and IFO 380 fuel oils acquired from a refinery in the UK. Additional dispersant effectiveness testing on these oils using small and mid-scale test methods has been completed by other agencies including MMS, the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans and CEDRE in France. The U.S. EPA through its on-site contractor the University of Cincinnati conducts standardized laboratory dispersant effectiveness and toxicity testing to determine if these products meet the criteria to be listed on the National Product Schedule.

In FY-2004, MMS funded the U.S. EPA (TAR research project 513) and their on-site contractor, the University of Cincinnati, to conduct laboratory effectiveness testing using two test protocols the BFT and the and SWT with three dispersants (Corexit 9500, SuperDispersant 25 and Agma DR 379), two oils (IFO-180 and IFO-380) at one Dispersant to Oil Ratio (DOR 1:25) at one temperature (16oC). This amounts to twelve experiments (each with four replicated) for a total of 48 dispersant effectiveness experiments. Results from this project were used to prepare scientific papers for the 2005 International Oil Spill Conference. However during peer review data gaps were identified that need to be filled in order to get a more complete correlation between laboratory testing, small and large wave tank testing and at-sea field trials. The proposed research will address these data gaps.

This project was an Interagency Agreement (IA) equally co-funded by the U.S. EPA and MMS. The primary objective of this research project was for the U.S. EPA and their on-site contractor the University of Cincinnati to conduct standardized laboratory dispersant effectiveness testing to determine if the Baffled Flask Test (BFT) was able to predict chemical dispersion effectiveness of oil spills similar to what was experienced in the field during the UK at-sea trials and at Ohmsett -The National Oil Spill Response Test Facility.

The secondary objective was to determine how closely results from the BFT match with results obtained in the field during the UK at-sea trials and at Ohmsett.

Latest progress update

The research experiments have been successfully completed. The final report has been accepted by MMS. This project is complete.