This knowledge is crucial as it will help to define the response strategy to be implemented. In order to respond to these two scenarios, Cedre has developed specialised pilot-scale experimental tools: the Cedre experimentation column, floating cells and the chemical test bench.
This facility is used to assess the potential of chemicals (with a lower density than water) to rise through a seawater column in order to determine the quantity of substance liable to reach the surface, where it could form a slick. As such a slick could entail a toxic risk (formation of a toxic gas cloud) or explosive risk, this information is essential to guarantee the safety of response personnel.
Further characterisation of the fate of chemicals at the sea surface can be performed in our floating "cells" or mesocosms. One of the objectives of this experimentation is to identify correlations between transfer processes (evaporation, dissolution) and metocean conditions.
As metocean conditions can influence the behaviour of chemicals at sea, Cedre has developed a facility designed to control various environmental parameters: water temperature, wind speed, solar radiation and surface agitation. The behaviour of a chemical spilt at sea can therefore be characterised for a given set of conditions. The chosen conditions may:
- be specific in order to represent the field reality in the case of a response to a real incident
- cover a range of possibilities so as to determine the behaviour of a substance for the majority of metocean conditions.