Investigating the effect of oil spills
on the environment and public health.
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Funding Source: Bridge Grants (RFP-III)

Project Overview

Texas Agrilife Research: Oil-Contaminated Sample Collection in Louisiana Coastal Areas: Toward an Optical Sensor for Quick Detection and Quantification

Principal Investigator
Texas A&M University-San Antonio
Texas AgriLife Research


Our project attempts to address Research Theme 4: Technology developments for improved response, mitigation, detection, characterization, and remediation associated with oil spills and gas releases. The overall goal of this project is to develop an optical sensing system for the detection and quantification of oil contaminants in coastal environments (in particular sand beaches and wetlands). The sensor will be compact, rugged, and portable for onsite deployment. For example, a cleanup worker can carry the sensor around and measure the contamination level by simply pressing a button. It enables quick, accurate, and objective assessment of oil contamination in coastal environments and eliminates the need for cost-prohibitive and time-consuming lab analysis. Such a sensing system would greatly enhance our capability of quick response and delivery of remediation and cleanup efforts in a timely and affordable manner.

This research was made possible by a grant from BP/The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative.