Herding oil at the surface

Herding oil at the surface: Surface collecting agents in oil spill response

March 12, 2020 – Metairie, LA

This event, held in conjunction with the Southeastern Louisiana Area Committee meeting, covered surface collecting agents (SCAs) – compounds that can be used to herd oil during emergency response operations. Speakers covered the history, science, and logistics of using SCAs during an oil spill. Complementary oil spill response techniques, as well as advances in developing the next generation of chemical herders, were also discussed. Click here to see the agenda.


Sea Grant oil spill science seminar “Herding oil at the surface” – Emily Maung-Douglass

In this presentation, Dr. Emily Maung-Douglass of Louisiana Sea Grant shares about the partnership between the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) and the Sea Grant programs of the Gulf of Mexico. This partnership to share oil spill science in the Gulf of Mexico and beyond has been in place since 2014. For presentation slides, click here.

A brief history of herders – David Cooper

A review of the past decade looking at the development of a herder effectiveness protocol, and the testing of herders to determine impacts on mechanical recovery, possible use of herders to clear slicks from salt marshes, and as a pre-cursor to in-situ burning. For presentation slides, click here.

Surface Collecting Agent operations for in situ burning and oil skimming – James Hanzalik

An example of use of Surface Collecting Agents (SCA) for in situ burning or enhancing skimming oil on the surface of the water. It identifies the logistical challenges of burning or skimming oil offshore and how SCAs can assist in that effort. For presentation slides, click here.

Advances in in situ burning – Surface Collecting Agents (aka Herders) – Timothy Nedwed

This presentation describes the basics of ISB, basics science behind herders, the history of herder development, a summary of recent testing, and a description of next-generation herder delivery and slick ignition systems. For presentation slides, click here.

Herders for in situ burning – Lessons from experiments in the Arctic & beyond – Srijan Aggarwal

Surface collecting agents or herders have become increasingly popular in the last decade or so for their potential use to aid in-situ burning efforts during an oil spill response. Several successful field demonstrations of herders have also shown promise. There are several questions regarding the fate of herders, their operability, and their limitations. In this presentation, I will talk about what we know about herders from past studies and what we have learned from our experiments in Alaska. For presentation slides, click here.

Eco-friendly chemical herders – Bio-derived oil collecting agents – George John

This talk discusses an emerging model of generating new chemicals, intermediates and soft materials in a ‘biorefinery’. We have developed building blocks-to-assembled materials viz environmentally benign antibacterial paints, oil spill recovery materials, energy storage devices, vegetable oil structuring agents and cancer detecting gels. For presentation slides, click here.

Q&A panel discussion – Herding oil at the surface – with Cooper, Hanzalik, Nedwed, Aggarwal, John

This question and answer panel was part of the March 12, 2020 Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Program seminar “Herding oil at the surface: Surface collecting agents in oil spill response” held in Metairie, LA. Guest speakers taking questions from in-room and online seminar attendees were David Cooper (S.L. Ross Environmental, Ltd.), James Hanzalik (Clean Gulf Associates, Inc.), Timothy Nedwed (ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company), Srijan Aggarwal (University of Alaska Fairbanks), and George John (City University of New York).

Featured image: Pelicans in flight over the Gulf of Mexico. (Vanessa Wirth)