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The concept that an oil spill might be immobilized on the surface of a body of water and subsequently dispersed has been advanced. The exploratory studies reported here demonstrate that an ultrahigh molecular weight elastomer, known to retard oil spreading, can be used in conjunction with an oil soluble surfactant to disperse the oil in water. The elastomer retards the dispersibility of the oil to some extent, but at concentrations of the elastomer sufficient to prevent oil spreading there is still significant dispersion.
oil spills, polyisobutylene, molecular weight, dispersants, turbidity
Professor of chemistry, the American University, Washington, DC
Consulting chemist, Ijamsville, MD
Consulting engineer, Manassas, VA