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I can’t find my reply to your email of 8 July, so am writing again. In fact, we are already analyzing Gulf water samples from Nalco (the supplier of Corexit to BP). It’s not as simple as it sounds. Yes, we know the primary ingredient, but its concentration is comparable to that of hundreds of other organic components (including as many as 20 with the same “nominal” (nearest integer) mass). Ergo, ultrahigh-resolution mass spec is required, and may not be readily available commercially (that’s why Nalco came to us).
I’d like to wait until we have had a chance to analyze the Gulf water samples before taking on other samples. Also, a meaningful analysis will require very extensive and systematic sampling for statistical validity.
We are also hoping to analyze Deepwater Horizon spill samples, but those will be provided by Woods Hole, which is well equipped for the sampling aspect. Several years ago, we published a paper (attached) on the components of crude oil that dissolve in fresh or salt water, and we’ll be getting back to that problem for the BP spill.
Short answer—let’s wait to see what the Nalco samples look like. Further experiments would require that you submit a short proposal (see description below) to Dr. Amy McKenna, who manages our user program. You should discuss with her before proceeding. Thank you for your interest.