Experimental investigation of oil droplet size distribution in underwater oil and oil-air jet

Ruixue Liu, Cosan Daskiran, Fangda Cui, Wen Ji, Lin Zhao, Brian Robinson, Thomas King, Kenneth Lee, Michel C. Boufadel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Understanding the droplet size distribution of subsea oil releasing is important to predict the subsequent transport and degradation of the spilled oil. Single-and multi-phase oil jet experiments were conducted in the Ohmsett facility, including pure oil jet and oil-air jet through a 10.7-mm pipe and a 4.7-mm pipe. Measurements of the vertical jet hydrodynamics and the oil size distribution were obtain-ed. The reported results help to extend subsea oil spills experiment scale into a meso-scale, and the measurement range of the oil size is widened up to 2 cm. Moreover, the application of dispersant and involvement of air phase provided valuable scientific evidence for the usage of dispersants to treat oil spills. The data confirmed the effectiveness of the dispersant that reduces oil droplet size and also suggested that the participation of the gas phase facilitated the decreas-ing of oil droplet size. The results were compared to the numerical simulation tool VDROP-J. While the hydrodynamics showed good consistency, the system-dependent coefficient needed a slight revision to coincide with presented data. This also confirmed the significance of experimental materials for further validation and development of oil spill models, where we also provided guidance and discussion on conducting and post-processing the oil spill experiment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-209
Number of pages14
JournalMarine Technology Society Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Ocean Engineering


  • Droplet size distribution
  • Multi-phase jet
  • Subsea oil blowouts


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