Development of a dispersibility assessment kit for use on oil spill response vessels

Gina M. Coelho, Ann G. Slaughter, Ruixue Liu, Michel C. Boufadel, Victoria Broje

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The use of dispersants can be an effective response tool for large offshore spills by applying dispersants on unemulsified slicks and treating as much oil as possible before it becomes too viscous. Assessing the dispersibility of an oil slick under actual environmental conditions is an important step in spill response decision-making. This research seeks to develop a new field kit that is quick and reliable and could be used by spill response personnel without scientific training. The resulting Dispersibility Assessment Kit (DAK) incorporates an automated mixing unit to standardize the applied energy, thereby eliminating the variability in “hand mixing” that is used in other dispersant field kits. The automated mixing energy was studied to determine the optimal mixing regime that correlates with ocean conditions and was incorporated in the DAK protocol. The DAK was validated against 14 oils and emulsions and was successfully tested by response personnel during at-sea demonstration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112665
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
StatePublished - Sep 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution


  • Dispersant decision-making
  • Dispersant efficacy
  • Dispersant field kit
  • Dispersant testing
  • Dispersant window of opportunity
  • Oil dispersibility
  • Spill response


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