Preparation of water-in-oil emulsion for testing of oil spill response equipment (NT CHEM 003)

  • Report #: NT CHEM 003
  • Approved: November 2002
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  This document describes a method for preparation of waterin-oil emulsion in quantities appropriate for testing of fullscale oil spill response equipment. The procedure was designed to accompany the “Standard for Performance Testing of Oil Spill Skimmers” (Ref. [1]). The procedure provides guidelines with respect to selection of base oil, design/dimensioning of mixing arrangement and emulsion preparation methodology; all with the objective to produce a test emulsion of the desired physical properties. The procedure is based on the use of Bunker oil for emulsion preparation. The document may, however, also provide valuable guidance for emulsification of other oils, for instance crude oils. The main purpose of this document is to provide a method by which test emulsions may be produced repeatedly with a limited variation in physical properties, thus promoting comparable tests of oil spill response equipment at different locations/laboratories and at different times. Emulsions prepared according to this method may or may not be representative of those formed in the real environment following an oil spill. The stability of emulsions is dependent on many chemical/physical factors, only partly understood. The use of this procedure does not guarantee the stability of the emulsion, nor the physical properties of the fluid. All quantitative information provided in this procedure should be understood as a guideline and should be verified by measurements and observations, followed by adjustments of the preparation method when appropriate.  

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