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Pilot-scale studies

Cedre has developed various pilot-scale tools to study pollutants.

The flume tank (or "polludrome")

Tests are performed in the flume tank (or "polludrome") at the mean annual seawater temperature for the production area and with a similar level of agitation (moderate surface agitation, waves and wind roughly equivalent to sea state 3). Different environmental conditions can be simulated upon request.

The seawater used in our tests is taken from the bay of Brest then filtered and disinfected by UV treatment. Its salinity is 33 g/L.

The experiments are carried out over a one week period and around fifteen samples of oil are regularly taken at the water surface. Various physical and chemical parameters are measured in the laboratory.


Physical and chemical parameters

Evaporation and chemical composition

- Alteration of the oil's chemical composition

- Evaporation kinetics and maximum evaporation rate

Flash point

- Evolution of the flash point


- Emulsification kinetics and maximum water content

- Assessment of the possibility of using demulsifiers

- Change in the stability of the emulsion


- Evolution of the density of the oil or emulsion


- Evolution of the viscosity of the oil or emulsion


The data obtained can be used to estimate the behaviour and fate of the oil during the first hours and days following its release.


During the weathering process, some weathered oil samples undergo tests so as to assess the different treatment options:


Treatment options


- Chemical dispersibility of the oil and/or emulsion

(Tests performed using the IFP or MNS protocol)

- Window of opportunity for oil dispersion

In situ burning

- Flammability of the oil and/or emulsion

(Tests performed using the burn test bench)

- Window of opportunity for this technique


- Adhesion of the oil to oleophilic surfaces; capacity of the oil to be recovered


- Assessment of the possibility of biodegradation and implementation of bioremediation operations


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