Determining the effectiveness of dispersants for the elimination of oil spills in the Arctic seas

UDK: 502.65:622.276
DOI: 10.24887/0028-2448-2018-4-104-107
Key words: effectiveness of dispersant, oil spill response, icy seas, Arctic region, test procedure
Authors: A.V. Salnikov (Ukhta State Technical University, RF, Ukhta), N.D. Tskhadaya (Ukhta State Technical University, RF, Ukhta)

Pollution of waters that appears as a result of oil spills in the ice seas of the Arctic region inevitably leads to considerable violations in vulnerable ecosystems of the Arctic and also leads to negative social, economic and geopolitical consequences. The problem of effective elimination of emergency spills in the Arctic shelf acquires the increasing relevance for Russian oil and gas enterprises that realize the Strategy of the Arctic Zone Development and Ensuring National Security until 2020.

The most perspective method of oil spills emergency elimination in Arctic conditions since the end of the last century has considered is an application of dispersants – the surfactants accelerating process of natural dispersion of oil in the thickness of seawater due to weakening of an interphase tension on border of phases «oil-water». Under the influence of the energy of mixing arising from the waves movement, dispersants influence on an oil membrane, dividing it into globule from 1 to 5 micron which are absorbed by bacteria or are besieged on a bottom.

At the same time, the unique feature of dispersants is their «dot» applicability. The efficiency of a dispersant of the same structure substantially differs while using it in different weather conditions or because of the change of salinity of seawater. It also can be different for various oils and even for viscosity of oil of one brand at her cooling or aeration. This feature demands from producers of dispersants and from interested in it gas and oil enterprises considerable volume of pilot studies for determination of efficiency of dispersants at their use in specific conditions.

This work includes the analysis of methods of determination of dispersants efficiency from the point of applicability of such surfactants for elimination of emergency oil spills in the ice seas of the Arctic region. Requirements to methods of determination of dispersants efficiency in the ice seas are formulated and the concept of development of methods and means of determination of dispersants efficiency for elimination of oil spills emergency in the Arctic water areas which can become base for development and introduction of such domestic developments in the import substitution tendencies is offered.


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