Update of the Ohmsett Dispersant Effectiveness Test Protocol

Project Number
Progress Date
Performing Activity
Principal Investigator
James McCourt
Contracting Agency
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
Contract Award Value
Estimated Completion Date

This project updated the Dispersant Effectiveness (DE) test protocol used at Ohmsett, the National Oil Spill Response Research and Renewable Energy Test Facility. Ohmsett is the largest facility of its kind and offers significant advantages for testing response technologies such as dispersants in simulated field conditions. The original DE test protocol was developed between 2000-2003. Since then, tank components have been upgraded and engineering studies have been conducted on the tank to better characterize its performance and limitations. The revised DE test protocol takes advantage of the tank’s improved capabilities to provide a more robust and repeatable test protocol. Specific improvements include:

  • Testing with a reduced volume of oil which minimizes tank fouling and allows more tests to be conducted within an allocated timeframe
  • A system to contain the treated slick inside the defined test area without the use of physical barriers
  • Improved dispersant application leading to increased accuracy of the dispersant-to-oil ratio (DOR)
  • Ability to generate a breaking wave of known wave energy directly at the treated oil slick
  • More complete recovery of remaining surface oil for reduced error in the DE calculation
Latest progress update

The project is complete. The final report is posted below.

Date research completed
Associated Attachments
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Limited, S. R. E. R., 2021.
Peer Review Status