The effect of various states of weather: no weather, 205 evaporatively weathered, and emulsification on the effectiveness of oil dispersants Corexit 9527 and Corexit 9550 in dispersing Alaska North Slope Crude oil into the water column was tested at a combination of realistic subarctic salinities and temperatures. A modified version of the swirling flask effectiveness test was conducted at temperatures of 3, 10 and 22C with salinities of 22% and 32%. Petroleum dispersed into the water column following application of dispersant was measured by gas chromatography with FID detection. Results showed dispersants dispersed less than 40% of the fresh oil, none of the weathered oil, and were most effective when used to disperse a stable oil/water emulsion at 10C. At the combinations of temperature and salinity most common in the estuaries and marine waters of Alaska, the dispersants were largely ineffective (<10% effective, the detection limit of the tests) at dispersing fresh or weathered Alaska North Slope crude oil in laboratory tests.
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