A generic approach to construct pseudo components for oil weathering models

Xiaolong Geng, Christopher H. Barker, Amy MacFadyen, Michel C. Boufadel, Dalina L. Thrift-Viveros, Robert K. Jones, Caitlin O'Connor, Kenneth Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oil weathering models are essential for predicting the behavior of spilled oil in the environment. Most models use a “Pseudo Component” (PC) approach to represent the wide range of compounds found in petroleum products. Within the approach, rather than modeling each individual compound in an oil, a manageable number of PCs are developed that represent whole classes of compounds. However, previous studies focused mainly on traditional crude oils and did not develop a generic approach to create an optimal set of PCs for a variety of oils. In developing the updates to the NOAA oil weathering model, we propose herein a generic approach to construct PCs using oil distillation data to capture the complexity of oil evaporative weathering. We validated our approach with 899 oils from the Automated Data Inquiry for Oil Spills (ADIOS) oil library and found that an optimal set of sixteen PCs should be used. These PCs include two with low boiling point (below 144 °C), one with a high boiling point (above 400 °C), and thirteen constructed within a middle range of boiling points with a temperature resolution of 20 °C. Our simulation tests suggested that this set of sixteen PCs adequately characterizes oil evaporation processes for a wide variety of oils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number132160
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
StatePublished - Oct 5 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


  • ADIOS oil database
  • Numerical modeling
  • Oil evaporative weathering
  • Pseudo components


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