Prosiectau Ffiseg ar gyfer myfyrwyr bl.3 a bl.4

Disgrifiad prosiect

Oil detection for environmental protection

(supervisor: John Tomes)

Nature of project: experimental, instrumental

Available to students on full-time physics degree schemes or joint students.

Project description and methodology

Oil spill in rivers, lakes and the ocean from ships, oil platforms, offshore wind turbines and other commercial systems has a deep and significant impact on wildlife, and sea ecosystems. Continuous monitoring and rapid sensing of oil spill detection plays a vital role in minimising adverse effects on the ecosystem and provides a passive improvement in wildlife safekeeping. For companies, a major driving factor is the considerable economic cost of cleaning any unconstrained oil spill. Large spills such as the Deepwater Horizon have social costs estimated at $40-$60 billion [Cohen 2010].

This project seeks to investigate and characterize a simple optical system to detect oil on water. A thorough review of existing and emerging technologies will inform a practical, easily deployed design based on fluorescence. Background investigations into the spectral emissions of a range of oils in both fresh and seawater will be needed to optimize the optical components recommended for the proposed final product design.

Corona-Virus: this is primarily a practical 'lab' based project, in the event of additional Corona-Virus restrictions, some components could be taken for 'home working' allowing the project to continue. Furthermore, a change of emphasis towards image analysis would generate 'desk based' data for evaluation.

A successful project will develop beyond the above in one/some of the following directions:
There exists significant opportunity for further project development; image analysis of the fluorescent signal could be used to automatically identify the specific oil detected. An attempt could be made to correlate fluorescence spectra to RGB camera images. A physical instrument could be built and undergo initial evaluation.

When considering where to take your project, please bear in mind the time available. It is preferable to do fewer things well than to try many and not get conclusive results on any of them. However, sometimes it is useful to have a couple of strands of investigation in parallel to work on in case delays occur.

This project is only available as a Y3 project.

Please speak to John Tomes (jjt12) if you consider doing this project.

Initial literature for students:

  1. Y. Hou, Y. Li, B. Liu, Y. Liu, and T. Wang, ‘Design and Implementation of a Coastal-Mounted Sensor for Oil Film Detection on Seawater’, Sensors, vol. 18, no. 1, Dec. 2017, doi: 10.3390/s18010070.
  2. L. Parra, S. Sendra, J. Lloret, and J. Mendoza, ‘Low Cost Optic Sensor for Hydrocarbon Detection in Open Oceans’, Instrumentation viewpoint - 2015, No 18 [56] doi:10.3390/s18010070
  3. Ó. Sampedro and J. R. Salgueiro, ‘Remote photonic sensor to detect crude and refined oil’, Appl. Opt., vol. 56, no. 8, p. 2150, Mar. 2017, doi: 10.1364/AO.56.002150

Novelty, degree of difficulty and amount of assistance required

Moderate to high difficulty that requires some practical skills when executing the spectroscopic analysis. A little coding coupled to careful data analysis will be required to generate an informative final report.

Project milestones and deliverables (including timescale)

milestoneto be completed by
Initial review of understanding and potential project pathsend of October
Finalization of project experimental designChristmas
Confirmation of spectral data gatheringend of February
Confirmation of data for analysismid-March

Students taking this project will have to submit a full risk assessment form