August 19, 2011

In the aftermath of the April 20, 2010, oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, LSU was among the first selected to receive research support funds from BP’s Gulf Research Initiative, or GRI, to support studies on the fate and effects of oil, dispersed oil and dispersants. In June 2010, the university was awarded $5 million in recognition and support of LSU’s research expertise relevant to the oil-spill crisis, which includes areas such as environmental science and ecology, engineering, coastal science and humanities. After multiple rounds of a rigorously peer-reviewed competition, the grant dollars have been committed to researchers across campus.

Key players include LSU’s School of the Coast & Environment, as well as the Colleges of Engineering and Science, though other units are represented. A total of 31 projects were funded in two formal rounds of proposals.

College of Engineering projects include:

Sumanta Acharya and Haosheng Huang:

Modeling, Data, and Visualization of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

 

John Pardue:

Recovery and Remediation of Emulsified Oil in Contaminated Marshes: Biostimulation and Natural Recovery

 

Dandina Rao and Kalliat Valsaraj:  

Understanding the Phase Behavior of Oil/Dispersant Water System at Different Salinities, Temperature and Pressure

 

Ying Wang:

Novel Nanomaterials Synthesis for Oil-Spill Clean Up

 

John R. Smith:

Functional Design and Sizing for Subsea Capping System

 

Wanjun Wang:

Development of a High Sensitivity, Lab-on-Chip Instrument for On-Site Monitoring of Spilled Oil in Coastal Water

Interim Vice Chancellor Thomas Klei of the Office of Research and Economic Development, which oversees the distribution of the funds, said, “Over the last year, these funds have allowed our researchers to make great progress in collecting data that will help us understand the effects of the oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico, the coastal region, and human communities.”

“In my lab, we are investigating the persistence of Macondo oil on Louisiana’s shoreline and developing methods that we can use to clean it up faster,” said Pardue. “Funding from the LSU Gulf of Mexico Alliance/BP funds has allowed us to conduct sampling and observations with over 50 days in the field since the spill began.”

“The BP Oil Spill was a major disaster in Louisiana that underscored the need for an interdisciplinary group of researchers in fluid dynamics, oceanography, and computer sciences to work together to develop and apply high fidelity simulation tools to understand the BP spill, and provide the tools for use in future events," said Dr. Sumanta Acharya, professor, department of Mechanical Engineering. "We are currently working on the development of such high fidelity simulation tools."

“The BP Oil Spill was a major disaster in Louisiana that underscored the need for an interdisciplinary group of researchers in fluid dynamics, oceanography, and computer sciences to work together to develop and apply high fidelity simulation tools to understand the BP spill, and provide the tools for use in future events," said Sumanta Acharya, professor, department of Mechanical Engineering. "We are currently working on the development of such high fidelity simulation tools."

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Article excerpted from LSU University Release written by Ashley Berthelot at 225-578-3870 or aberth4@lsu.edu. Additional information added by the College of Engineering.



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