JOURNAL ARTICLE

Laboratory investigation of oil-suspended particulate matter aggregation under different mixing conditions

Juan Sun, Ali Khelifa, Chaocheng Zhao, Dongfeng Zhao, Zhendi Wang
Science of the Total Environment 2014 March 1, 473: 742-9
24462999
Oil-suspended particulate matter aggregation (OSA) has been recognized by the oil spill remediation community to effectively enhance the cleansing of spilled oil in the marine environment. While studies have investigated the application of mineral fines as an effective method to facilitate oil dispersion, decision-makers still lack information on the role of mixing energy in OSA formation and its significance to oil dispersion in real spills. This work studied the effect of level and duration of mixing energy on OSA formation using the standard reference material 1,941 b and Arabian light crude oil. The results showed that dispersed small oil droplets increased with an increase of both the level and duration of mixing energy to form multi-droplet OSAs. The sizes of the dispersed droplets varied between 5 and 10 μm under different conditions studied. The maximum oil trapping efficiency increased from 23% to 33%, the oil to sediment ratio increased from 0.30 to 0.43 g oil/g sediment, and the required shaking time decreased from 2.3 to 1.1h as the shaking rate increased from 2.0 to 2.3 Hz. Based on the size measurement results, a breakage effect on the formed OSAs and sediment flocs was confirmed under high mixing energy level.

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