The Weathering of Spilled Crude Oil in Coastal Water Environment

by Jorma Rytkönen, VTT/Ship Lab, Espoo, Finland,
Juha-Pekka Hirvi, VTT/Ship Lab, Espoo, Finland,
Risto Hakala, VTT/Ship Lab, Espoo, Finland,

Abstract: A research project was conducted at the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) in order to study the long-term behaviour of spilled crude oil in the brackish water under cold and icy conditions. In this respect the oil combatting measures suitable for winter conditions were also studied. One part of this research project was to simulate the essential processes of the past oil spill afterwards in the laboratory both in calm water and in the presence of waves. This paper describes the results of measurements during the oil alteration tests. The weathering of oil is demonstrated with an aid of test results of physical and chemical analyses. The physical properties of oil and the quality of water during the tests, such as the changes of the pour point, density and apparent viscosity are given. An evaporation test of oil among snow and ice is discussed, too. The effect of water contamination is described by gascromatographic analyzing. The gascromatographic diagrams indicate clearly the oil evaporation and dissolution by the lack of light hydrocarbon fractions.

Subject Headings: Hazardous materials spills | Sea water | Weathering | Water pollution | Evaporation | Ice | Water quality | Salt water | Finland | Europe

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