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Droplet breakup in subsurface oil releases - Part 1: Experimental study of droplet breakup and effectiveness of dispersant injection

Abstract

Size distribution of oil droplets formed in deep water oil and gas blowouts have strong impact on the fate of the oil in the environment. However, very limited data on droplet distributions from subsurface releases exist. The objective of this study has been to establish a laboratory facility to study droplet size versus release conditions (rates and nozzle diameters), oil properties and injection of dispersants (injection techniques and dispersant types). This paper presents this facility (6 m high, 3 m wide, containing 40 m3 of sea water) and introductory data. Injection of dispersant lowers the interfacial tension between oil and water and cause a significant reduction in droplet size. Most of this data show a good fit to existing Weber scaling equations. Some interesting deviations due to dispersant treatment are further analyzed and used to develop modified algorithms for predicting droplet sizes in a second paper (Johansen et al., 2013).

Category

Academic article

Language

English

Author(s)

Affiliation

  • SINTEF Ocean / Miljø og nye ressurser
  • SINTEF Industry

Year

2013

Published in

Marine Pollution Bulletin

ISSN

0025-326X

Publisher

Elsevier

Volume

73

Issue

1

Page(s)

319 - 326

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