Oil dispersants are chemical mixture of surface active substances added to colloid, to accelerate, and to improve the separation of particles and to prevent them from clumping with each other.
The main aim of oil dispersant is to suppress the oil spill effect by reducing the amount of oil coming ashore by water waves and by converting the spilled oil into small particles and droplets so that they can be dispersed beneath the water column.
Basically there are two major types of dispersant :
1) Conventional type :
The conventional type dispersants are mixture of non aromatic hydrocarbons solvents & mostly used for shoreline clean up. They are used undiluted at the time of application and the quantity of dosage of this type of dispersant is kept between the range of 30-100% / oil spill quantity.
2) Concentrate type :
Concentrated dispersant are more popular because it is much easier to handle and deal with concentrated products. This dispersant consists of mixture of oxygenates like glycol and non aromatic hydrocarbon.
They can be used after diluting but the latest concentrated dispersants (3rd generation) can be used undiluted from ship as well as from aircrafts. The dosage for concentrated dispersants drastically reduces to 5-15 % of dispersant/oil quantity.
The quantity of dispersants used depend upon the following factors :
*Type of oil in the spilled surface.
*Quantity of oil.
*Time from the oil spill incident happened.
*Distance from the shore.
*Marine environments and marine organism in the area of oil spill.
Advantage of using oil dispersant :
*They can be used in stronger current and in rough seas.
*As it removes the water from the surface, it reduces contamination of water birds and marine animals.
*It stops the carry over of oil by wind to the shore line and beaches.
*It is one of the quickest methods of fighting an oil spill.It restricts the formation of oil water emulsion.
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