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Biodegradation of dispersed Macondo oil in seawater at low temperature and different oil droplet sizes

Biodegradation of dispersed Macondo oil in seawater at low temperature and different oil droplet sizes

Category
Journal publication
Abstract
During the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) accident in 2010 a dispersant (Corexit 9500) was applied at the wellhead to disperse the Macondo oil and reduce the formation of surface slicks. A subsurface plume of small oil droplets was generated near the leaking well at 900–1300 m depth. A novel laboratory system was established to investigate biodegradation of small droplet oil dispersions (10 μm or 30 μm droplet sizes) of the Macondo oil premixed with Corexit 9500, using coastal Norwegian seawater at a temperature similar to the DWH plume (4–5 °C). Biotransformation of volatile and semivolatile hydrocarbons and oil compound groups was generally faster in the 10 μm than in the 30 μm dispersions, showing the importance of oil droplet size for biodegradation. These data therefore indicated that dispersant treatment to
Language
English
Affiliation
  • SINTEF Ocean / Miljø og nye ressurser
Year
2015
Published in
Marine Pollution Bulletin
ISSN
0025-326X
Volume
93
Issue
1-2
Page(s)
144 - 152