Saturday, June 12, 2010

Corexit, a Dispersant or a Congealant? - AP Exclusive: Scuba Diving in the Gulf Oil Spill

6/9 video, " Exclusive: Scuba Diving in the Gulf Oil Spill "

Merely continuous, gross incompetence and inadequacy, or worse?
h/t: HK

1 comment:

Doug Linn said...

Not "congealant", "coagulant" No it is not a coagulant. It is a dispersant, but you'd have to understand chemistry to know, it has to do with the dipolar nature of the synthesized molecule. It is basically hyrdophilic/oleophilic (2 parts joined) of the chemistry. This is how it "disperses" the oil into the water. One foot "happy" in the water (hydrophilic), the other foot "happy" in the oil oleophilic ... that is what makes it work ... it makes "oil" go into "water" ... so the dispersant's "goal" is emulsification. Once emulsified, the surface area of the oil is available to the naturally-occurring bacteria that munch on it.

The only problem I can see with the process is to make it work, you have to have extreme turbulence, and there is not much of that at the feedpoint from what we can see. Notice the little wand pointing into the flume with a white "flame-like" looking plume of its own, that's the dispersant going in. The energy needed for oil dispersion is critical ... and I don't believe there is a way the dispersant could handle all this oil, too much of it is "getting past" the dispersant without contact from what I can see. (you need the contact to get both feet planted). Dropping it from a plane encounters a similar problem, unless there is some pretty good wave action (which I haven't seen out there) then the contact between the oil and the dispersant would limit its effectiveness. But dispersants will help. They just are not the "final solution" to the problem, but an band aid.

I still think the best solution is a deep underground explosion (might not even have to be nuclear) to crush the well casing and seal the well from down deep.

So why are you guys so "after" Corexit? I keep hearing about the "poisonous chemical" being added to get rid of the even more poisonous chemical. At the dosages this stuff is being fed, you could put the same relative quantity of arsenic in a cup of iced tea and never feel the effect. We are talking (relative to the surround sea), almost parts per trillion! Corexit wasn't even mentioned in the video. I guess people have some natural fear of chemistry, sort of like Ophidiophobia? Fear not, learn the difference in the species. Some are "good guys." The chemistry here is fascinating, and quite naturally being applied just the way nature solves the problem by itself.

I would love to get a sample of the 'whitish' strands ... it would be fascinating to see what they were. Remember the oleophilic bacteria are consuming part of the oil, the more the "food supply" the more of them there are, so with the food supply they are growing exponentially ... but they too have predators, I would love to know if this is that. Bacteria that would want to "trap" the free floating oleophiles would use a "net" like a spider does. Bet you a $1 it is a plankton munching on them and also growing in numbers so now they are noticed. (Like a pack of wolves hanging around a herd of deer). I'll have to see what sorts of bacteria would feed on oleophiles. Off to the books.