Scientist and author M. Mitchell Waldrop accompanied researchers, funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, as they conducted the largest experimental simulation to-date of the Deepwater Horizon oil intrusion.
Scientists compared how different surfactants affect bacterial adhesion to oil droplets (20−60 μm), which is necessary for biodegradation.
Scientists conducted light-exposure experiments using Macondo oil and Corexit dispersant and ran model simulations to investigate how photo-chemical weathering (oxidation) affects dispersant effectiveness in oil spill response.
Researchers analyzed an enhanced formulation of a gel-like surfactant encased in a compact buoyant pod for oil spill remediation.
Researchers developed a new formulation to simulate gas-oil interactions within a developing underwater oil plume and applied the technique to the Deepwater Horizon incident. The simulations showed that in the absence of dispersant, gas bubbles reduced the median oil droplet and bubble sizes by up to 20%, with 30 – 50% reduction observed in intermediate gas fractions.
Crude oil contains tens of thousands of hydrocarbons, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that create unique chemical fingerprints for different types of oil. Dawei “David” Shi uses geochemical analysis techniques in mesocosm studies to track these fingerprints.
Scientists conducted laboratory experiments with a simulated oil plume to assess how chemical dispersants affect a crude oil jet as it transitions into a plume under crossflow conditions.
Marine oil snow is the largest commuter of carbon to the seafloor and occurs when oil and marine particles aggregate and sink through the water column. Previous studies show that oil and dispersant significantly increased marine microorganisms’ production of exopolymeric substances (EPS), an extremely sticky goo that holds marine snow together. Maya Morales-McDevitt conducts mesocosm experiments investigating how certain naturally occurring nutrients influence EPS production and oil degradation.
Scientists observed in laboratory experiments the formation of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS, a natural microorganism excretion) when phytoplankton and their associated bacteria were exposed to Corexit dispersant.
Responders to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill used nearly two million gallons of dispersant to assist biodegradation and prevent shoreline oiling.