Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Questioning the effectiveness of oil dispersants in Gulf oil spill

Date:
June 17, 2010
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
The widespread belief that chemical dispersants will enhance the breakdown of oil from the Gulf of Mexico disaster is based on weak scientific data, according to a new article.

The widespread belief that chemical dispersants will enhance the breakdown of oil from the Gulf of Mexico disaster is based on weak scientific data. That's among the topics in a comprehensive status report that is the cover story in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the American Chemical Society's weekly newsmagazine.

C&EN Senior Correspondent Jeff Johnson and Assistant Editor Michael Torrice note in the article that government and industry officials continue to struggle with how to handle the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, in which more than 20 million gallons of oil leaked into the ocean.

Detergent-like chemicals called dispersants, which break up oil slicks into drops, are among the key remediation tools. C&EN points out that technicians who apply the dispersants assume that the chemicals will help breakdown the oil by creating smaller droplets that oil-eating microbes in the ocean can consume.

But a 2005 National Research Council report, which described the results of three decades of research into dispersants' effects, gives mixed reviews. Studies showed evidence for "enhancement, inhibition, and no effect."

The report raises concerns that the microbes may chew up the dispersant molecules instead of dining on the oil. Nevertheless, as government and industry officials continue to wrestle with the best way to cope with the disaster, chemical dispersants will continue to play a role in this cleanup, the article concludes.

This story and related content on the oil spill is available at http://pubs.acs.org/cen/oilspill/


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jeff Johnson, Michael Torrice. BP's Ever-Growing Oil Spill. Chemical & Engineering News, 2010; 88 (24): 15-24 [link]

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Questioning the effectiveness of oil dispersants in Gulf oil spill." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100616122130.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2010, June 17). Questioning the effectiveness of oil dispersants in Gulf oil spill. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100616122130.htm
American Chemical Society. "Questioning the effectiveness of oil dispersants in Gulf oil spill." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100616122130.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

AFP (July 19, 2014) A spectaCular lightning storm struck the UK overnight Friday. Images of lightning strikes over the Shard and Tower Bridge in central London. Duration: 00:23 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: High Winds Push Growing Washington Widlfire

Raw: High Winds Push Growing Washington Widlfire

AP (July 19, 2014) Pushed by howling, erratic winds, a massive wildfire in north-central Washington was growing rapidly and burning in new directions Saturday. (July 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins