GELLING CRUDE OILS TO REDUCE MARINE POLLUTION FROM TANKER OIL SPILLS

Economics of applying the gelling technique in operation the oil well service industry and certain petroleum to historic spill clean-up costs indicating the economic tanker, thereby precluding flow of free oil into the sea. Laboratory evaluations of petroleum solidification, or gelling, techniques and systems were conducted utilizing foreign and domestic crude oils over a wide range of gravities and gelling agent proportions and concentrations. Methods for measuring gel strength were evaluated and the most pertinent utilized in the screening of candidate gels. Concepts for dispensing and mixing the gel agents were devised and tests were conducted to verify the ability to form laboratory-quality gels in up to 1,000- gallon volumes. The testing identified an amine / isocyanate combination as producing the strongest gels, over the widest range of crude oil types, and the ability to form those gels in quantity with two application systems suitable for shipboard use. The results suggest that the gels would stop flow through a tank rupture under only a limited range of potential conditions, but that the flow rate might be significantly less than that of free oil resulting in less pollution over a given time span. The results also show that the gelled oil tends to remain floating in lumps at the water surface and will not permit a slick to be formed. The ability of the gels to be removed from tanks using conventional pumping apparatus was also demonstrated.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Western Company

    2201 Waterview Parkway
    Richardson, TX  USA  75080
  • Publication Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00019648
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 1 1973 12:00AM