Realisticstable Water-In-Oil Emulsions at Ohmsett

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Courtesy of OHMSETT

This paper discusses the first two phases of a multiphase study to create predictable stable water-in-oil (W/O) emulsions at Ohmsett including a lab study and a large tank-scale study. The first stage of the study refined the process of creating, characterizing, and testing small batches of W/O emulsions under controlled and reproducible conditions in the laboratory to determine if the subject crude oil was capable of emulsifying. The second phase of the study capitalized on the unique capabilities of the testing facility to 'grow' mass quantities of emulsions that on a large wave tank under quasi-natural conditions with wave energy and exposure to the elements, especially UV energy from natural sunlight wave tank under similar conditions that might be present during a real spill in the marine environment. The tank-scale study supported a parallel

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) program supporting the 2010 Deepwater Horizon 'lessons learned' by proving control and validation of surface oiling characterization efforts pursued under the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Oil on Water (OoW) workgroup.

The subject of this paper is the production of reproducible W/O emulsions at Ohmsett. This program provided a 'first cut' exercise in what is intended to be an ongoing and evolving effort at Ohmsett. The lessons learned, as well as suggestions for future provisions and studies will be discussed.

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