The growth of the world production of oil and natural gas increases the risk of accidents resulting in harmful consequences for the population, the economy and the environment. An important tool that can be used to elaborate contingency plans involving blowouts is the numerical modeling. From the simulation of several scenarios, the behavior of the oil and gas plume can be determined, providing agility in the decision making. When underwater oil and gas blowouts occur, the mixture behaves as a plume/jet composed by several droplets and/or bubbles and various physical-chemical processes can occur changing the quantity and the composition of the plume/jet components during its rising in the water column. The distribution of oil and gas particles size is an important parameter to determine if the oil will reach the surface or will remain dispersed in the water column. Reaching the surface, the oil may undergo other processes (spreading, evaporation, dispersion, dissolution, emulsification) that will determine its behavior and its final fate. In this project, it is proposed to complement the oil/gas blowout simulation system developed by the applicant in her doctoral thesis, by 1) implementation of the distribution of particles size and 2) development of a numerical model for surface spills. With this system, the effect of the chemical dispersants application that inhibits the appearance of oil droplets in surface can be studied. Oil and gas releases can be simulated in different scenarios, helping in the emergency assistance in real accidents.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: