Effects of chemical dispersants and mineral fines on crude oil dispersion in a wave tank under breaking waves

Zhengkai Li, Paul Kepkay, Kenneth Lee, Thomas King, Michel C. Boufadel, Albert D. Venosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

The interaction of chemical dispersants and suspended sediments with crude oil influences the fate and transport of oil spills in coastal waters. A wave tank study was conducted to investigate the effects of chemical dispersants and mineral fines on the dispersion of oil and the formation of oil-mineral-aggregates (OMAs) in natural seawater. Results of ultraviolet spectrofluorometry and gas chromatography flame ionized detection analysis indicated that dispersants and mineral fines, alone and in combination, enhanced the dispersion of oil into the water column. Measurements taken with a laser in situ scattering and transmissometer (LISST-100X) showed that the presence of mineral fines increased the total concentration of the suspended particles from 4 to 10 μl l-1, whereas the presence of dispersants decreased the particle size (mass mean diameter) of OMAs from 50 to 10 μm. Observation with an epifluorescence microscope indicated that the presence of dispersants, mineral fines, or both in combination significantly increased the number of particles dispersed into the water.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)983-993
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume54
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

Keywords

  • Breaking waves
  • Crude oil
  • Dispersants
  • Mineral fines
  • OMAs
  • Oil droplets

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