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Scientific research and spill response

Scientific research is everywhere!

It is no secret to the authorities involved in accidental water pollution response: understanding the behaviour and fate of pollutants at sea, developing new detection and propulsion systems, improving response equipment... the list goes on.


Research in the field of spill response is growing internationally, for example in:

  • Canada with the launch of the second phase of the Multi-Partner Research Initiative (MPRI) which focuses on inland waters oil spill;
  • the United States with the government showing its support for the OHMSETT test centre through visits by officials such as the Principal Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management.


In France, the French Navy and Cedre are working together to conduct open sea trials in order to characterise the potential of infrared sensors for the detection of chemical slicks and associated gas clouds. This research is being carried out within the MANIFESTS project, which echoes current events such as the chlorine gas leak observed at the Port of Aqaba in Jordan in June 2022 or the sabotage of the North Stream gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea in September 2022.


In addition, the introduction of new propulsion energies for ships (ammonia, methanol, low-sulphur fuels, biodiesel...) requires new studies on risks, behaviour, and spill response techniques. Cedre's research activity on this topic is based, among other things, on the publication of guides listing the main characteristics of new fuels and associated response methods.


Other projects are also dedicated to: conventional oil, understanding the phenomena associated with sheen, the need to recover thin oil slicks, or the underwater injection of dispersants after a blowout (like what was done during the Deepwater Horizon accident).


This overview of the research activity would not be complete without mentioning its particular interest in living organisms. Indeed, spill response actions are always implemented in such a way as to minimise the impact on living organisms and on the ecosystem. With this goal in mind, Cedre has published a document presenting the impacts of different response techniques on the marine ecosystem[ACJCCCI1] [JLBCCS02]  (soon to be translated into English) and is interested in the impact of the dissolution of anodes from offshore wind turbines on benthic species by participating in the ECOCAP project.

Last update on 16/03/2023
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