‘Fingerprinting’ of oil spills using the Kore MS-200

As well as being highly detrimental to marine ecosystems, oil spills can have heavy financial implications for marine operators. Oil spill researcher Dr. Brian Mitchell, at MERL-Consulting SAS (France), used Kore’s portable mass spectrometer, the MS-200, to investigate the possibility of analysing oil spills in real time out in the field (quite literally). Rapid analysis or ‘fingerprinting’ of the oil can pinpoint the origin of the spill, expediting intervention and thereby reducing the financial and environmental toll of the spill.

MERL-Consulting and Pierre Briallart of Expert Pollution Control collaborated with Kore scientist Fraser Reich to develop their analytical protocol on the CEDRE artificial beach. They then carried out their experimental measurements at the site of a real pipeline spill that had occurred two years previously.

Mitchell and colleagues found that the MS-200 was able to identify the spectrum of the oil pollution, even though the oil was two years old. Brian Mitchell presented his important work at the 45th Arctic and Marine Oilspill Program (AMOP) Technical Seminar on Environmental Contamination and Response, hosted by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). This seminar provides a significant international forum for professionals working in the field of oil and hazardous materials spills, facilitating the transfer of scientific results and linking the operational and research communities. Kore is proud to support the valuable work of Brian Mitchell and his colleagues in this endeavour.

Publication: Mitchell JBA, Le Garrec J-L, Le Bris N, Briallart P, Reich F, Le Floch S and Jézéquel R (2023) In-situ Identification of Spilled Oils Using Mass Spectrometry. In: Proceedings of the Forty-Fifth AMOP Technical Seminar, Environment and Climate Change. Ottawa, ON, Canada. pp470-480.



Main image: The CEDRE artificial beach provides a controlled environment for marine and coastal experiments.

Left image: Fraser Reich (Kore Technology, left) and James Brian Mitchell (MERL-Consulting, right) at the CEDRE artificial beach.

Right image: Tests using the Kore MS-200 being carried out by Pierre Briallart (Expert Pollution Control Co.) at the site of the pipeline spill.