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MARINE DISPERSANT FOR OIL SPILL RESPONSE: Efficiency and impact on marine ecosystem.

Published on 13 September 2019 by Vladislav Sebyakin

MARINE DISPERSANT FOR OIL SPILL RESPONSE: Efficiency and impact on marine ecosystem.

Travnikov E.V. TOTAL VOSTOK, Moscow




The use of dispersants is one of the main methods of oil spills response in the sea and subsea. There are Russian specific regulatory documents and parameters for marine dispersants:

-Definition of Maximum Permissible Concentration (MPC) for seawater for fishery water objects;

-Dangerous products classification.

These indicators, along with the efficiency of the dispersant, are the most important when choosing a product for the purposes of planning oil spill response and liquidation actions.

An important part of the work on the plan preparation of oil spill response is the choice of dispersant for use in seawater of fishery importance. MPC of the dispersant for such water is very important parameter and determines the maximum concentration of the substance which should have an unharmful effect on fish populations, primarily commercial.

The proposed Assessment of the potential impact on the ecosystem, especially on commercial fish populations may help with choice of dispersant. This estimation is based on the comparison of MPC values of different dispersants and is a relative indicator. It is assumed that at the same dosage, the dispersant has an advantage in case of higher MPC value (that is, safer or less harmful for the ecosystem).

The same analysis allows to reduce potential influence of a dispersant on an ecosystem in places of its application. For insistence, in case of high degree of pollution, preference should be given to a dispersant with a higher MPC value, since this dispersant will have less impact on the ecosystem with an increased dosage. In cases of oil spills of the second and third (highest) categories, the MPC value may be the main selection criterion.

The best Dispersant for oil spill response plans should be the one that is highly efficient and has a low impact on the ecosystem at the intended application sites.

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