348116 A Comparison Of The Effectiveness Of Solid and Solubilized Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate On Oil Dispersions Using A Baffled Flask Test

Monday, November 4, 2013
Grand Ballroom B (Hilton)
Matthew DeCuir, Department of Chemical Engineering, Auburn University, Auburn, AL

A Comparison of the Effectiveness of Solid and Solubilized Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate on Oil Dispersions Using a Baffled Flask Test Matthew J. DeCuir, Courtney A. Ober, Ram B. Gupta

mjd0011@auburn.edu, courtneyober@gamil.com, gupta@auburn.edu

Auburn University Department of Chemical Engineering

The recent Deepwater Horizon oil spill demonstrated the importance of chemical dispersants to alleviate environmental load by accelerating natural biodegradation processes through oil dispersion.  More efficient use of chemical dispersants could significantly reduce the amount of dispersant needed.  To this end, a neat application of surfactant, the active ingredient of chemical dispersants, is proposed that would eliminate the use of toxic organic solvents and decrease the cost of dispersing an oil spill.  In this study, solid surfactant delivery was compared to surfactant delivery when dissolved in water and a number of organic solvents.  The surfactant used in this study was dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate.  A formulation of  surfactant was introduced to an oil and synthetic seawater system which was then shaken and analyzed for dispersed oil content according to the EPA’s baffled flask test procedures.  This study demonstrates the effectiveness of solid surfactant application to oil-water interfaces and the ineffectiveness of aqueous dissolved surfactants, a common cause of inefficiency.  Further research into microencapsulated solid surfactants could provide added benefit by releasing the surfactant payload only when in contact with oil.

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