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View Diary: BP LiveBlog - Diary 12 (353 comments)

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  •  re: From now on, I think (2+ / 0-)
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    libnewsie, Miep

    My comment doesn't require credentials.  

    The article quoted someone with no stated credentials "who has had to deal with the press and politics while his colleagues deal with the oil".   This person made comments which are contrary to what is now common knowledge to those following the spill.   If you have been paying attention for the last few days, you probably have seen reports of fractionation and oil plumes, and if you haven't, I provided links to examples.   There is video of  Philipe Cousteau, Jr. (Jacque Cousteau's grandsun) diving in a hazmat diving suit among submerged oil plumes many miles away from deepwater horizon.

    And there are thousands of news stories talking about dispersants making oil sink (and much blog commentary about the out of sight, out of mind implications):

    After the dispersant is applied, the tiny droplets of oil follow the water currents in underwater plumes.

    Everybody "knows" that oil floats on water.   But what oil under what conditions?   This isn't consumer ready oil.  In refineries, they separate the different fractions in oil and they run some of the heavier fractions through a "cracker" to break them up into lighter fractions.  

    This will be true of all fresh crude oils, and most fuel oils, for both salt and fresh water. Bitumens and certain residual fuel oils may have densities greater than 1.0 g/mL and their buoyancy behaviour will vary depending on the salinity and temperature of the water. The density of spilled oil will also increase with time, as the more volatile (and less dense) components are lost. After considerable evaporation, the density of some crude oils may increase enough for the oils to sink below the water surface.

    Bear in mind that most of this oil is being emitted through the end of the riser pipe where it can pick up silt (which is heavier than water):

    [Group V fuel oils] have a wide range of densities and properties and thus cannot be characterized as a single product with a given set of properties and behavior. Group V fuel oils can float, be neutrally buoyant, sink, or all three, depending on their composition and the physical nature of the receiving waters (salinity, temperature, suspended sediment content). They can physically separate into fractions with different behavior. Three models are proposed for predicting the behavior of Group V fuel oil spills, based on observations at previous spills. If spilled directly into the water, heavier-than-water oil will form into drops and remain in suspension if there is
    any current. In no-current areas, sinking oil can accumulate on the bottom and be recovered. When mixed in the surf zone, the oil tends to pick up sand and sink, without ever stranding on shore. Special problems are associated with locating, containing, and
    recovering oil that is neutrally buoyant or on the bottom.

    And even a housewife's BS meter should have gone off with the dish detergent comment.

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