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An oil spill is a release of liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment due to human activities, and is a challenging pollution problem. The term often refers to marine oil spills, including releases of crude oil from tankers, offshore platforms, drilling rigs and wells, spills of petroleum products and by-products, and spill of any oily substance refuse or waste oil. From the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989, BP Deepwater Horizon (Macondo) oil in 2010, to the Northeast Brazil oil spill in 2019, marine oil spills have been reported worldwide and have caused tremendous concern because of their significant negative and long-term impacts on ecological and socio-economic systems. The risk of marine oil spills has been increasing considering the growth of global shipping, deep-sea oil & gas operation, and diverse near/offshore activities. Response to a spill incident can be challenged by not only operational and technical limitations but also unfriendly environmental factors. The harsh marine environment (such as strong wind and wave, cold air and water, sea ice, and low visibility prevailing in the Arctic and Northern Atlantic Oceans) make response operations much more difficult and significantly reduce the window of response opportunity. There are wide recognitions of pressing needs in innovative research to improve response efficiency and capabilities. This talk will provide an overview of the current response practice, challenges and opportunities, and then introduce research progress in marine oil spill response decision making and cleanup technologies in the Northern Region Persistent Organic Pollution Control (NRPOP) Laboratory at the Memorial University in Canada. The key research topics mainly cover the simulation and AI aided response decision making, AOP based integrated on-site decanting technologies, and biosurfactant-based green treating agents as well as their lab testing and applications.
Dr. Bing Chen is Professor and Head of Department of Civil Engineering and Director of Northern Region Persistent Organic Pollution Control (NRPOP) Laboratory at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. He is also the founding Director of the global Network on Persistent, Emerging and Organic PoLlution in the Environment (PEOPLE Network). He is an elected Fellow of Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE), Fellow of Fellow of Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC), and Member of Royal Society of Canada (RSC) College.
Dr. Chen is an internationally respected leader in environmental engineering research with exemplary achievements in environmental emergency (e.g., on/off shore oil spills) responses, water/wastewater treatment, AI-aided decision making, and environmental sustainability. He has produced over 400 technical publications and 7 patents/disclosures, gave over and trained over 70 thesis-based graduate students and PDFs. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) and has served as Senior Advisor of the United Nations Development Programme, Vice-President of the Canadian Association on Water Quality, Vice-President of Sigma Xi Avalon Chapter, Member of the Royal Society of Canada’s Expert Panel, Editor-in-Chief of Environmental Systems Research (Springer), Associate Editor of 2 journals, Editorial Board Member of 6 other journals, and adjunct/visiting professor of 6 institutions worldwide. He has given over 70 invited keynotes and guest lectures worldwide. He has received many awards such as Water Environment Federation A.S. Bedell Award and Terra Nova Young Innovator Award and diverse conference/paper awards. As a registered Professional Engineer, Dr. Chen has provided consulting service to governments and industry from environmental/water, oil and gas, petrochemical, shipping, fishing, mining, and agriculture sectors as well as NGOs and communities in Canada and worldwide.