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.

Related Articles


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 December 20, 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 December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Lava from an active volcano on Hawaii's Big Island slowed slightly but stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, thanks in part to something called feedback. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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