“First Dispersant Study Funded by Feds: COREXIT “did NOT degrade”… “It didn’t go away” — May not have even broken up the oil” – Florida Oil Spill Law

News Release : First Study of Dispersants in Gulf Spill Suggests a Prolonged Deepwater Fate

Source: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, January 26, 2011
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Liz Kujawinski, standing, and colleague Melissa Kido Soule work on oil dispersant study in Kujawinski's lab.
Enlarge Image 

Liz Kujawinski, standing, and colleague Melissa Kido Soule work on oil dispersant study in WHOI’s Fourier-Transform Mass Spectrometry Facility. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

To combat last year’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, nearly 800,000 gallons of chemical dispersant were injected directly into the oil and gas flow coming out of the wellhead nearly one mile deep in the Gulf of Mexico.  Now, as scientists begin to assess how well the strategy worked at breaking up oil droplets, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) chemist Elizabeth B. Kujawinski and her colleagues report that a major component of the dispersant itself was contained within an oil-gas-laden plume in the deep ocean and had still not degraded some three months after it was applied.…
“We don’t know if the dispersant broke up the oil,” she added. “We found that it didn’t go away, and that was somewhat surprising.” …

The work was funded by WHOI and the National Science Foundation. The instrumentation was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. …
“Over 290,000 kg, or 640,000 pounds, of DOSS was injected into the deep ocean from April to July,” she said. “That’s a staggering amount, especially when you consider that this compound comprises only 10% of the total dispersant that was added.” …
“The good news is that the dispersant stayed in the deep ocean after it was first applied,” Kujawinski says. “The bad news is that it stayed in the deep ocean and did not degrade.”

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Breaking up is hard to do 

When oil and gas mixtures are ejected from a deep wellhead, liquid oil droplets of many different sizes form and rise toward the ocean surface. Because the smaller droplets become as dense as the surrounding water deep below the surface–in this case at about 1,100 meters—they are swept away laterally by prevailing ocean currents (left panel). When a dispersant is added at the depth of the wellhead, a component called a surfactant breaks up the oil into small droplets (middle panel). If the dispersant works perfectly, virtually all the liquid oil is in these “neutrally buoyant” droplets and is carried away before ever reaching the surface and the droplets become small enough to be consumed, or “biodegraded,” by bacteria. In the Deepwater Horizon spill (right panel), scientists found evidence that the dispersant mixed with the small droplets in the deep-water hydrocarbon plume but also discovered the oil/dispersant mix had not yet biodegraded several months after the spill. The study could not distinguish between oil droplets coated with surfactant (which would suggest the dispersant worked as planned) and surfactant floating freely on its own (suggesting the substance did not attach to the oil, as intended).

(Illustration by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

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17 Responses to “First Dispersant Study Funded by Feds: COREXIT “did NOT degrade”… “It didn’t go away” — May not have even broken up the oil” – Florida Oil Spill Law

  1. Rick says:

    Great information thanks very much. Some how BP should be held responsible.

  2. Howard T. Lewis III says:

    Arrests. Impeachments. Methodic, cautious shut down of re-evaluated off-shore drilling sites.
    Mean business. Your government won’t help you. They were paid to allow you to be corraled so they won’t even look up from their lunch.

  3. Core Exit says:

    Hmmm… Looks like the exact headline that was published by on Jan. 26…

  4. Core Exit says:

    By Florida Oil Spill Law: ‘First’ Dispersant Study Funded by Feds: The Corexit “did NOT degrade”… “It didn’t go away” — May not have even broken up the oil


    • Thanks for pointing this out, Core Exit.

      We were of the understanding that both FOSL and GOSRC received this article from the same source with the title as shown above. Hopefully that misunderstanding is now resolved with proper attribution.
      If not, please let us know.

  5. Sophia says:

    When do we get to find out just how far this has spread? Is anyone testing the blood of folks in the rest of Florida, and maybe neighboring states? If so, what are they finding — Corexit, oil chemicals. . . .?? How can residents of the general area find out what’s in their air, drinking water, oceans, and blood? A lot of people assume they’re safe because they’re not in the places mentioned most often — are they in for a rude awakening, and if so, will it come before it’s too late?

  6. Pingback: "Top Kill" (Gulf of Mexico oil leak) Has FAILED, officially - Page 187 - Stormfront

  7. TJsMom says:

    We’ve had the cough and respiratory infections here off and on since August. We are the “big bend” 8 miles from the Gulf. In spite of not going into the Gulf or eating the seafood, we are sick. We are too poor to move. But we do know what is going on. We are not stupid “useless eaters.” I only wish something, some concerted action, could be done before we get too sick to act. Maybe a “general strike”?

    • solshanti says:

      why not go on strike from the whole gulf region? it sounds crazy, but is it crazy to stay and be poisoned, or to leave en masse?

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  9. James says:

    BP needs to be held criminally responsible. They knew exactly what they were doing by burying their “mistake.” This dispersant will be killing for years and the oil is lying all over the bottom.

  10. Pingback: “First Dispersant Study Funded by Feds: COREXIT “did NOT degrade”… “It didn’t go away” — May not have even broken up the oil” – Florida Oil Spill Law « thefloridianguy.com

  11. InjuredGulfWOrk says:

    The problem is the people in the Gulf Coast are sick but no one will say or draw the connection to the problem because the problem has not been resolved. Newspapers, Doctors, TV people they have all been paid off or driven away. Look up Dr. Wilma Subra and Dr. Soto. How much is your health worth to you??? We still have clean up workers on the beaches picking up tar balls. Tar balls are toxic. If vacationers knew that the beaches and Gulf are toxic no one would come. Think about this for a sec, kids put anything in their mouth. My daughter has grown up on the beach, I know this for a fact! Just consider the damage that one digested tar ball could do to a child! However, If no one comes we are more broke than we were before and we are still sick. Mean while bacterial infections are running rampant. Recently I have heard more people that are having major medical problems than I can ever remember. All I want to do is get my ex-wife and daughter out of here before it is too late! I have lived in Destin Florida since 2002 and I am scared to death! Screw the money we need to take a stand

  12. Howard T. Lewis III says:

    Congressional officials or one of their staff members should be commenting daily at FOSLC or PRFTG. It shows an obliviousness or complicity in this destruction. Neither lack of creative reaction is acceptable but THEY don’t react with concern. They react with a transcient frown or two then it’s off to the counting house. Even staff members’ DAILY response about what is being done would be no big deal for them to produce. If something were being done, they would be doing a public strut about it every morning before they resumed mewling.
    Genocide continues against innocents at home and abroad for lies and oil profiteering and Congress mewls. They know if they lower their guard, it means prison. This is one GROSS box of kitten imitators.
    Generals, are you watching this? Please drop me an email at apeman2501@hotmail.com. I am lost and confused about the big gap between patriotism and the Commander-in-Chief…. Not really, I just want to hear you explain it out loud. Any staff personnel will do to relay the true State of the Union. I respect and appreciate any response, but not ‘no response’.

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  14. Pingback: PREPAREDNESS ALERT!!! Major attack on Mid-America planned in May RT fast #AlexJones @RealAlexJones « Rise Against The Machine

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