It’s been a little over a week now since we returned from our trip to the Gulf Coast. We have started digging through the findings of our trip, and thought it would be appropriate to post a summary of some of the highlights.
OSS traveled to Lafayette, LA with the initial intent of starting an Alpha Test for our ASTM Method D7575 ‘Standard Test Method for Solvent-Free Membrane Recoverable Oil and Grease by Infrared Determination’. The goal of this study is to get real-time feedback from an end-user perspective. This feedback will be invaluable as we prepare our technology for a commercial launch. As part of our installation procedure we ran our method side-by-side with the current EPA Method 1664. Comparison studies showed the methods to give the same results. The independent lab will continue to perform our method for a 90 day period.
With the recent disaster event in the Gulf, the scope of the trip expanded vastly. Since our method can provide real-time measurement of Oil and Grease in water, we felt it was appropriate to see how our technology could assist in monitoring and cleanup operations in the Gulf. We spent the next two weeks traveling all over the Louisiana coast, collecting over 100 water samples. Pictures from these trips can be found below. Here is a map of our sampling sites:
View Louisiana Gulf Sampling Trip in a larger map
From rigorous analysis of the collected samples, as well as comparisons to standard test methods, we were able to show that our ASTM method D7575 can be used to provide fast and accurate analysis of ocean samples from the Gulf. We also were able to demonstrate our concept for a field portable system. We ran tests at several sites from the the back of our van using just a generator for power. With a modified sampling technique we have also been able to use our method to detect oil deposits in sediment samples from the sea floor. This procedure will be studied in detail over the coming months.
OSS is committed to providing any assistance we can as monitoring and cleanup efforts continue in the Gulf. We are confident that our test method can be used to accurately measure oil and grease content in seawater samples. We will continue to volunteer our services for this cause.