A transport model for water‐soluble constituents of synthetic oil spills in rivers

Stephen E. Herbes, Gour‐Tsyh ‐T Yeh

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7 Scopus citations


A numerical model was developed to predict dissolved aqueous concentrations of phenolic contaminants resulting from accidental spillage of a synthetic oil into a river. The model (termed SOPTRAN, for synthetic oil pollutant transport) simultaneously solves algorithms for processes of oil slick spreading, oil evaporation, phenolics dissolution, advection and dispersion using an implicit integrated compartment method. To test SOPTRAN, predictions were compared with measurements of phenolics dissolution into underlying water following application of a coal‐liquefaction product to two 3.75 × 3.75 × 1 m ponds. The mean of measured concentrations during phenolics dissolution was 84% (coefficient of variation = 43%) of predicted values. With minimal calibration, SOPTRAN adequately described differential rates of dissolution of phenol and C1‐ to C4‐alkylphenol isomer groups. The model was used to simulate a hypothetical 300‐m3 (80,000‐gal) accidental release of a coal liquid from a barge into a large navigable river under both instantaneous and noninstantaneous (i.e., leakage) spill scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-254
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1985


  • Dissolution
  • Phenolics
  • Spill
  • Synthetic oil
  • Transport model


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