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Corexit - - Why is all that Oil Hiding?? A Lesson in Emulsifiers.

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posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 03:58 AM
Hello All,

I think this may be my first thread in this forum regarding the oil spill. I was watching a science related tv show earlier today that was unrelated to the oil spill but it got me thinking..???

First of all the show was about emulsifiers and how they make water and oil react. Now anyone that studied science, even at a high school level should know where i'm going with this.

For anyone that doesnt know about emulsions here is a quick clip:

This is a very basic explaination of how water and oil can be made to mix with the aid of an emulsifier which in this case is dishwashing detergent.

Pretty Simple yeah??

Ok so now to Corexit -

Corexit[1] (often styled COREXIT)[2] is a product line of solvents primarily used as a dispersant for breaking up oil slicks. It is produced by Nalco Holding Company which is associated with BP and Exxon.[3] Corexit is a highly poisonous toxin used as a dispersant in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, with COREXIT 9527 having been replaced by COREXIT 9500 after the former was deemed too toxic.[4] Oil that would normally rise to the surface of the water is broken up by the dispersant into small globules that can then remain suspended in the water.[5]


So far we are all on track i hope and yes i am quite sure this is not new and nothing shocking.

So basically Corexit is a type of Emulsifier and acts in much the same way -

COREXIT 9500 is the sole product we have been making for Gulf responders since the spill began. Limited quantities of COREXIT 9527 may have been drawn from existing dispersant stockpiles from around the world. COREXIT 9500 does not include the ingredient 2-butoxy ethanol, an ingredient in COREXIT 9527.

Source: - also contains further information.

Lastly on this topic we have some further reading that looks into Corexit and how it reacts with the oil and sea water:

Although dispersants can have a positive effect, they still contain the emulsifiers that support the micelle formation in seawater, and these emulsifiers are themselves problematic.

BP uses dispersants supplied by the water treatment company Nalco: Corexit™ 9500 and Corexit™ 9527A. So far, more than 2.2 million liters of chemicals have been dropped on the oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico by aircraft. The U.S. EPA has permitted the use of various compositions of Corexit™ in the fight against oil pollution, but not without objections. In particular, some have expressed concern because the emulsifier used in Corexit™ 9527A, 2-butoxyethanol, is thought to be problematic for marine animals. Corexit™ 9500, which is used as a solvent for light gasoline, should dillute the oil on the surface, but it too poses a risk to the environment


As i stated above this is some breaking news thread i just thought i'd contribute some information to the topic.Although in regard to the oil now being on the bottom on the ocean the thought occured that wouldn't there be a stabilzer available that would again stabilize the oil?? I have been looking around for information on it but as yet havent found anything worth posting.
edit on 6-1-2011 by Havick007 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 03:44 PM
Besides the toxic nature of Corexit itself and the oil becoming much more absorbable by marine life and therefore directly into the food chain, what happens when you give micro-organisms a nearly unlimited food supply? They multiply rapidly. Generally speaking, the food supply is the controlling moderator with any population of organisms. Now, how prevalent are mutations within microorganisms (bacteria)? Well I doubt anyone can dispute the hypothesis that the larger the population, the more prevalent mutations will be.

My fear is that they have just created a gigantic test tube out of the Gulf of Mexico and put evolution of oil eating micro organisms onto a fast track or mutation. Especially as the food supply begins to dwindle and the mutations begin to favor the microorganisms that have evolved into something with appetites for something else other than oil. Who the heck knows where this will eventually lead?

Perhaps completely unrelated, but my wife works part time at a local seafood market in Panacea, FL, and she commented that the fishermen are all coming back with catches WAY, WAY lower than normal. Most are not able to catch enough to pay for the fuel it takes to take the boats out.

Oh, there was another interesting observation I heard about. That there were seaweed blooms out in the Gulf that are normally only seen during hotter times of the year when the Gulf water temps are a lot warmer than they should be now. I have no idea what this may mean, merely an observation being relayed.

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