US Army Corps of Engineers
Engineer Research and Development Center

Engineering Resources - Oil and the Environment

US Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory
Published Aug. 1, 2019
Updated: Oct. 11, 2019
Research to enhance mechanical recovery of oil in Arctic conditions

Researchers test steam heat to increase the efficiency rate of oil recovery under an ice sheet at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Hanover, New Hampshire, site. The oil, which has been inserted into the pool below the ice sheet, is recovered by saturating the fibers. Cycling the fibers through steam heat rejuvenates them. This process allows for better saturation and recovery rates.

Researchers with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory and Applied Research Associates Inc. recently used measurement instruments both above and below an ice sheet to measure the efficiency of burning oil in ice. The photo shows the below ice instruments used, which include a remotely operated vehicle, with attached acoustic sensors, and a fixed platform, that when testing rests on the bottom of the basin, fitted with acoustic and temperature sensors.

Researchers with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory and Applied Research Associates Inc. recently used measurement instruments both above and below an ice sheet to measure the efficiency of burning oil in ice. The photo shows the below ice instruments used, which include a remotely operated vehicle, with attached acoustic sensors, and a fixed platform, that when testing rests on the bottom of the basin, fitted with acoustic and temperature sensors.

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory recently hosted onsite testing with Applied Research Associates Inc. to measure burn efficiency of oil in ice. CRREL Engineering Technician Bill Burch ignites the oil-laden ice cavity with a propane torch. In the background, thermal imaging cameras are set up to measure the heat of the burn.

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory recently hosted onsite testing with Applied Research Associates Inc. to measure burn efficiency of oil in ice. CRREL Engineering Technician Bill Burch ignites the oil-laden ice cavity with a propane torch. In the background, thermal imaging cameras are set up to measure the heat of the burn.

U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory engineers hosted Applied Research Associates Inc. testing onsite using the Geophysical Research Facility, an outdoor refrigerated basin, to measure burn efficiency of oil in ice. In the foreground a computer screen visually monitors and streams the testing live to sponsors. In the background, researchers use visible and infrared cameras to measure thermal properties.

U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory engineers hosted Applied Research Associates Inc. testing onsite using the Geophysical Research Facility, an outdoor refrigerated basin, to measure burn efficiency of oil in ice. In the foreground a computer screen visually monitors and streams the testing live to sponsors. In the background, researchers use visible and infrared cameras to measure thermal properties.

 

Oil and the Environment

Oil and the Environment engineers and scientists work with the Department of the Interior and the Oil and Gas industry to detect and clean up oil spills in icy saltwater environments. The group develops and tests state-of-the-art equipment and techniques using large, environmentally controlled facilities available at the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL).

We can assist you with the following:

  • Oil and the environment (oil under ice detection, mitigation, tracking and modeling, prediction, migration, impacts assessment, phenomenology)
  • Installation and equipment energy systems
  • Infrastructure monitoring and assessment
  • Department of Defense military engineering and munitions characterization.

Status

Currently, one of the projects the group is working on is the development and testing of prototype technology and operational methods to significantly enhance in-situ burning and improve burner efficiencies.  The proof-of-concept will be demonstrated through lab-scale testing in waves with burning crude oil.  A prototype will be built by enhancing commercially available fire booms and a demonstration under realistic conditions.


Contact
Nathan J. Lamie
ERDCinfo@usace.army.mil
Engineering Resources Branch (ERB)-CRREL
or
Kemal Arsava
ERDCinfo@usace.army.mil
Engineering Resources Branch (ERB)-CRREL