SBIR Phase I: Rapid and In-situ Analysis of Deepwater Oil Plumes by Micro-ESR Spectrometry
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
Active Spectrum Inc.
110 Glenn Way #15, San Carlos, CA, 94070-6262
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project involves field analysis of crude oil emulsions using electron spin resonance (ESR/EPR) spectroscopy. The recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is substantially different from previous oil spills in that a large fraction of the oil spilled is thought to be located in huge underwater oil plumes comprised of tiny dispersed oil droplets. Characterizing this dispersed oil (rapidly determining the presence or absence of dispersed oil, and its concentration) represents an important task in monitoring the scope of the damage and effectiveness of the cleanup efforts. This project will demonstrate a new application of Active Spectrum?s handheld Micro-ESR technology which is currently used by several major oil companies in the US to measure the concentration of asphaltene in heavy oils. Asphaltene measurement using the Micro-ESR spectrometer takes approximately 1 minute and the instrument requires 30W of power, suitable for handheld or remotely deployed (for example, underwater) test equipment. The broader/commercial impacts of this research are The proposed heavy oil detection system based on Active Spectrum?s Micro-ESR technology offers the potential to rapidly and relatively inexpensively characterize seawater samples and determine if heavy oil is present, and if so, in what concentration. Measurement of asphaltene in crude oil is also of substantial interest to both producers and refiners. Many heavy crude oils have an asphaltene component that must be appropriately measured and treated to prevent precipitation and fouling of pipelines and equipment.
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