By knowing how a substance, whether oil or chemical, is liable to behave when spilt in water, we are able to assess its evolution in the environment and determine the most appropriate response techniques.
By conducting laboratory tests combined with pilot-scale studies, we are able to determine the short- and medium-term fate of an oil when spilled in water. During the weathering process, samples are taken to assess the different parameters which will influence the efficiency of various response techniques:
- dispersibility for dispersant application
- flammability for in situ burning
- adhesion for the use of oleophilic skimmers
- biodegradability for restoration operations.
While the Standard European Behaviour Classification (SEBC) can be used to determine the theoretical behaviour of a substance according to its physical and chemical properties, it has its limits. It is based on laboratory experiments which do not take into account environmental parameters. Thanks to our innovative experimental tools, we can carry out studies on different scales to reproduce the conditions surrounding a spill as accurately as possible. This knowledge is crucial as it will help to define the response strategy to be implemented.