A-DROP: A predictive model for the formation of oil particle aggregates (OPAs)

Lin Zhao, Michel C. Boufadel, Xiaolong Geng, Kenneth Lee, Thomas King, Brian Robinson, Faith Fitzpatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Oil-particle interactions play a major role in removal of free oil from the water column. We present a new conceptual-numerical model, A-DROP, to predict oil amount trapped in oil-particle aggregates. A new conceptual formulation of oil-particle coagulation efficiency is introduced to account for the effects of oil stabilization by particles, particle hydrophobicity, and oil-particle size ratio on OPA formation. A-DROP was able to closely reproduce the oil trapping efficiency reported in experimental studies. The model was then used to simulate the OPA formation in a typical nearshore environment. Modeling results indicate that the increase of particle concentration in the swash zone would speed up the oil-particle interaction process; but the oil amount trapped in OPAs did not correspond to the increase of particle concentration. The developed A-DROP model could become an important tool in understanding the natural removal of oil and developing oil spill countermeasures by means of oil-particle aggregation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-259
Number of pages15
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 15 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution


  • Nearshore environment
  • OPA formation
  • Oil spill
  • Oil trapping rate
  • Oil-particle aggregation


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