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Rheological study on seawater contaminated with oil components

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The protection of marine life and prevention of pollution caused by accidental oil spills in seawater have become a critical issue. Thus, quick actions should be executed. One of these actions is the cleanup process, which requires pumping, skimming, and storing the contaminated seawater. This operation requires deep knowledge of the physical and chemical proprieties of pollutant fluid that would help in calculating the power requirements for the cleanup process. This study focuses on the properties of two pollutants: diesel and spent engine oil. Instead of taking on-site samples for analysis, a data bank for these properties would offer an efficient tool to characterize the fluids. The aim of this work was to present a rheological and physiochemical study for the seawater upon the addition of diesel and spent oil pollutants at different concentrations. It was also aimed at investigating the effects of pollutant concentration, mixing time, and temperature on seawater viscosity and density with time. The results of this work will provide a wide range of physical data for a mixture of seawater and crude oil components measured at different temperatures using hydrometer and coaxial cylindrical viscometer standard tests. The experimental results also showed that there is a significant change in seawater viscosity when contaminated with spent engine oil and diesel oil. The viscosity increased as the concentration of spent engine oil and diesel oil increased within seawater. For example, when the diesel oil concentration increased from 10 vol% to 50 vol% rat 25°C, the viscosity increased from 0.0012 Pa.s to 0.0031 Pa.s. At the same temperature, the viscosity increased from 0.00173 Pa.s to 0.0036 Pa.s when the spent engine oil concentration increased from 10 vol% to 50 vol%, respectively. The same trend was observed when the temperature decreased. The effect of time on the density of seawater contaminated with diesel oil appeared to be insignificant at constant concentration and temperature where the density is almost constant for the 140 minutes of testing time. However, as the concentration of diesel oil increased at constant temperature, the density decreased. The same behavior was noticed when studying the effect of temperature where the density of contaminated seawater decreased as the temperature increased at a constant concentration.
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  • School of Engineering, Australian College of Kuwait, Mishref, Kuwait
  • SREE Department, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
  • American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
  • SREE Department, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
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