Research facilitation and management for Newfoundland and Labradorís offshore industry

Monte Carlo Modelling of Oil Mineral Aggregates

Lead PI: Dr. Paul Hill
Subject Category: Health, Safety and the Environment

Start Date: Jul 2001
End Date: Jul 2004
Institution / Organization: Dalhousie University

Oil spills into harbours and the open ocean are caused by accidents involving tankers, barges, pipelines, refineries, and storage facilities and usually occur when oil is being transported to the consumer.  These spills typically happen when people make mistakes, equipment is faulty or severe weather cause ships to founder.  When a spill occurs, oil floats to the surface and spreads out rapidly to form a thin layer, called an “oil slick”, which can reach the shoreline depending on the amounts and location.  Apart from the harmful effects on fish and shellfish, oil destroys the insulating ability of fur-bearing mammals, such as seals, and the water-repelling abilities of a bird's feathers.

Cleaning oil from shorelines is a costly economic problem worldwide.  Conventional methods of clean up, including surface skimmers, vacuum systems, and shovels are still in use, but past experience suggests that the natural cleaning of oiled shorelines is enhanced by the formation of oil-mineral aggregates, or OMA for short. OMA form when oil droplets and sediment grains adhere to one another.  Compared to raw oil droplets, OMA are less likely to stick to shorelines, and provide an opportunity for naturally-occurring bacteria to consume and, thus, biodegrade the oil.

Dr. Paul Hill and Dr. Ken Lee of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography teamed up to explore the role of OMA formation in enhancing the clean up of spilled oil. Their research, supported by a grant from PRAC, has been used to develop clean-up techniques that get the maximum benefit from this natural process.

Publications

  • Ajijolaiya, L. O. (2004) Laboratory investigation of the effects of mineral size and concentrations on the formation of oil-mineral aggregates. (MASc Thesis, Dept of Civil Engineering, Dalhousie University)
  • Ajijolaiya, L. O., Hill, P. S., Khelifa, A., Islam, R. M., and Lee, K. (2006) Laboratory investigation of the effects of mineral size and concentrations on the formation of oil-mineral aggregates. Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol. 52, Iss. 8, August 2006, pp.920-927
  • Hill, P. S., Khelifa, A. and Lee, K., (2002). Time scale for oil droplet stabilization by mineral particles in turbulent suspensions. Spill Science & Technology Bulletin, Vol. 8 Iss. 1: pp.73-81.
  • Khelifa, A., Hill, P.S., Stoffyn-Egli, P., and Lee, K. (2005) Effects of salinity and clay composition on oil-clay aggregations. Marine Environmental Research, Vol.59, Iss.3; pp.235-254.
  • Khelifa, Ali and Hill, Paul S. (2006) Models for effective density and settling velocity of flocs. Journal of Hydraulic Research. Vol.44, Iss.3; pp.390-401
  • Khelifa, Ali and Hill, Paul S. (2006) Kinematic assessment of floc formation using a Monte Carlo model. Journal of Hydraulic Research. Vol.44, Iss.4; pp.548-559
  • Khelifa, A., Stoffyn-Egli, P., Hill, P.S., and Lee, K., (2002). Characteristics of oil droplets stabilized by mineral particles: the effect of oil types and temperature. Spill Science & Technology Bulletin, Vol. 8 Iss. 1: pp.19-30.
  • Schneider, R. (2005) The role of sediments in the formation of oil mineral aggregates at Black Duck Cove. (BSc Thesis, Depts. of Earth Sciences and Oceanography, Dalhousie University)

Conference Presentations

  • Khelifa, A., P.S. Hill, and K. Lee, (2005b).  A comprehensive numerical approach to predict OMA formation following an oil spill in aquatic environments.  In:  Proceedings of the 2005 International Oil Spill Conference, Miami, Florida.
  • Khelifa, A., Ajijolaiya, L.O., Hill, P.S., and Lee, K., (2004a). Modelling the effect of sediment size on OMA formation. In: 27th Proceedings of Arctic and Marine Oil Spill Program (AMOP) Technical Seminar, Environment Canada, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, pp. 383-395.
  • Khelifa, A., P.S. Hill, and K. Lee, (2004b). Prediction of Oil Droplet Size Distribution in Agitated Aquatic Environments. 27th Proceedings of Arctic and Marine Oil Spill Program (AMOP) Technical Seminar, Environment Canada, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
  • Khelifa, A., Hill, P.S., and Lee, K., (2003a). Role of oil-sediment aggregation in dispersion and biodegradation of spilled oil. The International Conference on Oil Pollution and Its Environmental Impact in The Arabian Gulf Region, United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates, October 5-7, 2003, pp. 9, (Abstract + Oral Presentation)
  • Khelifa, A., Hill, P.S., and Lee, K., (2003b). Effect of turbulence on OMA formation. The International Conference on Oil Pollution and Its Environmental Impact in The Arabian Gulf Region, United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates, October 5-7, 2003, pp. 17, (Abstract + Oral Presentation)
  • Khelifa, A., Hill, P.S., and Lee, K., (2003c). Critical sediment concentration for OMA formation. The International Conference on Oil Pollution and Its Environmental Impact in The Arabian Gulf Region, United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates, October 5-7, 2003, pp.31, (Abstract + Oral Presentation)
  • Khelifa, A., Hill, P.S., and Lee, K., (2003d). A stochastic model to predict the formation of oil-mineral aggregates. In: 26th Proceedings of Arctic and Marine Oil Spill Program (AMOP) Technical Seminar, Environment Canada, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, June 2003, pp. 893-910.
  • Khelifa, A., Stoffyn-Egli, P., Hill, P.S., and Lee, K., (2002b). Characteristics of oil droplets stabilized by mineral particles: the effect of salinity. Proceedings of the 2003 International Oil Spill Conference, Vancouver, BC, Canada, pp. 1-8.

news

Oct 10, 2017 - Ocean Supercluster Initiative

Apr 12, 2017 - 2017 International Workshop on Environmental Genomics June 8-9

Feb 23, 2017 - Petroleum Research Newfoundland and Labrador 2017 Call for Proposals (CLOSED)

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