The aim of pollutant behaviour studies is to predict the evolution of a substance in real conditions, to assess the transformation of its physical and chemical properties and to estimate the efficiency of various response techniques (dispersants, recovery, in situ burning, etc.).
Experiments can be conducted in the laboratory, enabling a large number of crude oils to be tested over a short period of time, as well as on a pilot scale, providing a more realistic assessment. This latter option, generally combined with laboratory tests, is more suitable for production crudes.
The results obtained are used in spill contingency planning to guide those in charge of clean-up operations in their choice of response products, equipment and strategies.