Chemical Dispersants Used in Bioremediating Oil Spills

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 54
  • Published : September 15, 2010
Open Document
Text Preview
UNIVERSITY OF PORT HARCOURT
FACULTY OF SCIENCE
DEPARTMENT OF PURE AND INDUSTRIAL CHEMISTRY

SEMINAR PRESENTATION

ON
CHEMICAL DISPERSANTS USED IN BIOREMEDIATING OIL SPILLS

BY

UPORO VICTOR BARIBEFE
U2006/5581377

COURSE CODE: ICH 400.2
COURSE TITTLE: UNDERGRADUATE SEMINAR
COURSE LECTURER: MR. GODSON IWUOHA

SEPTEMBER, 2010

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1

1.1 Introduction ............................................................................. 2

1.2 Background on the chemical composition of dispersants ....... 3
CHAPTER 2

2.1 History of Dispersants............................................................ ... 6

2.2 Dispersants Reformulation ......................................................... 7

2.3 Function of dispersants ............................................................. 7

2.4 Current Dispersants .................................................................. 8

CHAPTER 3

3.1 Mechanism of dispersion ............................................................... 12

3.2 Toxicity of dispersants ............................................................... 15

3.3 Analysis of the pros and cons to using dispersants at oil spills ...... 17

CHAPTER 4

4.1 Recommendations for the use of dispersants ............................... 20

4.2 Suggestions for future analysis and research ................................ 20

4.3 References .................................................................................... 21

CHAPTER 1

1.1 INTRODUCTION

Over the past couple of years, the use of chemical dispersants has become an increasingly common method to combat oil spills in water bodies. Chemical dispersants are substances applied to spilled oil that disperse oil into the water column rather than leaving it floating on the surface in a slick. When used appropriately, chemical dispersants can be an effective method of response to an oil spill. Following dispersant application, wave energy will cause the oil slick to break up into smaller oil droplets that are rapidly diluted and subsequently biodegraded by micro-organisms occurring naturally in the marine environment. Dispersing spilled oil into the sea by the use of oil spill dispersants can be an environmentally acceptable method of oil spill response. A “net environmental benefit” will be achieved if the damage that might be caused to marine life by dispersed oil is less than the damage that would have been caused if the oil had come ashore or drifted near to particularly oil-sensitive resources. This justification for dispersant use cannot, however, be imported into every oil spill scenario. Dispersing spilled oil in some circumstances might have the potential to damage marine life that exists in the close vicinity of a dispersing oil slick. Dispersed oil droplets and the chemical components in oil that are transferred into the sea have the potential to exert toxic effects, but only if the oil is present at high enough concentration for prolonged periods. This will only occur if there is not sufficient dilution of the dispersed oil and oil components into the sea. This report amongst other things aims to give an overview of the effectiveness of these oil spill dispersants in bio-remediating oil spills, the types and generations of dispersants available, their toxicity and preference of one mode/type over the other(s). 1.2 BACKGROUND ON THE CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF DISPERSANTS

Dispersants are chemical formulations which reduce the surface tension of water allowing the oil to disperse...
tracking img