Gateway for:

Member Countries

Chemical Protection of Environment


Complex Physical and Chemical Protection of Environment Against Accident Spilling of Petroleum Products in Storage and Transportation

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment
  • CHE-IND/Industrial Chemistry and Chemical Process Engineering/Chemistry

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Komarkov D A

Leading Institute
Russian Scientific Center of Applied Chemistry, Russia, St Petersburg

Supporting institutes

  • Delivery Systems International, Russia, St Petersburg


  • Environmental Authority, Germany, Hamburg\nENSAIA le Gout du Savoir, France, Vandœuvre lés Nancy\nDarcy Products Limited, UK, Kent, Kent

Project summary

Ecological damage to nature and man resulting from nonhermetic storage of petroleum products, accidents at oil pipes accompanied by large scale spillings, accident fires in oil storage tanks is immense. Actually, it concerns all countries of the world. Powerful scientific resources and technical means are mobilized to fight it but the problem still is not solved and does not lose the edge.

We propose one possible variant of complex solution of, at least, a part of this vast problem with help of a new chemical (polymer) means. The present proposal is based on accumulated experience in development of formulations and technologies designed to produce polymer thixotropic compounds for special purpose equipment. In addition, on the same base we have developed special composition material ("Kompozam") for protection of petroleum products against evaporation during storage in tanks. "Kompozam" has undergone preliminary industrial tests at oil storage facilities and shown high efficiency (cutting down the loss of products into environment by 10-15 times).

Material, production process and applications have been patented in:

USA № 4629633 16.12.1986
England № 2173805B 05.04.1989
Italy № 1183541 22.10.1987
Rumania № 93454 31.03.1987
France № 2580371 10.07.1987
Germany № 3510101 28.01.1993
Russia № 1292314 12.08.1993

In continued small-scale laboratory investigations we have shown quite new conceptual potentialities in development of a series of "Kompozam"-type materials fit not only for cutting down the losses in petroleum product evaporation in storage but also for other purposes not less important, namely:

1. Gathering spilled petroleum as semi-solid, non-spreading mass, which can be burned or buried. Petroleum pollution of water sources can be completely prevented.
2. Preventing petroleum products from oxygen saturation in storage to reduce tarring of products in thermal processing.
3. Decreasing the probability of petroleum products inflammations in tank storage and optimization (cutting down duration) of fire extinguishing of the burning surfaces. In this case, there exist great potentialities to introduce special fireproofing compounds into composition of "Kompozam"-type materials.

The basic scientific and technical idea used at the foundation for development of "Kompozam"-type materials consists in the following: light-weight dispersed filler with closed internal volume is being encapsulated into microshells of partially cross-linked polymers, capable of limited, selective swelling in liquids. They may be liquids of any nature (petroleum, gasoline, alcohol, water). Such dispersed material of specially selected composition is spilled as powder on the surface of liquid, swells in it, and is capable to either form light-weight floating coating (problems № 2 and 3), or solidify the entire mass of liquids (problem 1).

Preliminary data obtained by us indicate the existence of great technical potentialities in development of the above-mentioned problem, its high economical and ecological efficiency once it is solved.

We submit the present Project to the International Science and Technology Centre in Moscow for financing.

The main purpose of the Project will be, primarily, the localization and gathering petroleum spillings from soil and water surface.

Fulfillment of the Project should yield the following results:

Formulation (on the basis of the same principle) for effective gelatinization (solidification) of spilled petroleum, prevention of its spreading and water area pollution will be developed.

The possibility for effective gathering petroleum spillings from solid and water surface and making barriers against oil streams toward water area will be demonstrated. The possibility to utilize obtained mass will be presented as well.

Russian companies KINEF Ltd. and Bashkir Petrochemical Company have consented to be collaborators within this Project - in the respect of materials trial. Western organizations as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (the USA) and Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Agronomie et des Industries Alimentaires (France) - have agreed to be our scientific collaborators. The negotiations are conducted with a number of other companies: American Petroleum Institute, USA, Lapperanta University of Technology, Finland, Shell Chemicals, Netherlands, Chemical Delivery Systems International, USA and others).

In accordance with the results of the Project, its commercialization is intended in the respect of organizing the Composite Absorbing Material (CAM) industry and the employment of CAM by oil-extracting, oil-processing companies and environment-protecting organizations.