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Land Risk Management Research

Dispersant Effectiveness at Various Sea States

Oil Spills
Oil Spills

Oil Spill Cleanup

Dispersant Effectiveness at Various Sea States 

In 2002, a dispersant effectiveness protocol, which tested the effectiveness of dispersants to disperse crude oil into the water column, was developed. A new and highly reproducible protocol that uses a baffled flask as the primary vehicle for getting the oil dispersed was developed. Researchers determined that the energy dissipation rate in the baffled flask is at least an order of magnitude greater than its predecessor flask, the swirling flask. The purpose of this project was to finalize measurement of the energy dissipation rates in the baffled flask and use this information to conduct the same measurements at a constructed wave tank facility.

Following the baffled flask experiments, a wave tank at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, has been used to improve international scientific understanding and responses to oil spills at sea. EPA land risk management scientists are involved in this international effort with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Research has led to improved scientific understanding of the factors affecting the dispersant products used to mitigate the effects of oil spills on open waters.


Albert D. Venosa
U.S. EPA National Risk Management Research Laboratory
Land Remediation and Pollution Control Division
26 W. Martin Luther King Dr.
Mail Code: 190
Cincinnati, OH 45268

Risk Mangement Research | Air and Climate Change Research | Water Research | Ecosystems Restoration Research | Land Risk Management Research | Technology: Sustainable Technologies Research, Environmental Technology Verification Program (ETV), and Technology Assessments

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