SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1984

A View of the Mackay and Labofina Laboratory Tests for Assessing Dispersant Effectiveness with Regard to Performance at Sea


A comparison has been made of the Mackay and Labofina tests for evaluating oil spill dispersants, in terms of showing correlation with effectiveness at sea. Both tests have been found to provide repeatable data on the efficiency of dispersants. Good agreement was obtained between the two tests for the efficiency ratings of five commercially available dispersants as well as for the identification of optimum surfactant combinations. When differences occurred between the two methods in the selection of optimum formulations, the cause was found to be the onset of wave damping affecting the Mackay test results. The major advantages of each test were speed and simplicity in the case of the Labofina test and the simulations of wind shear and wavemixing action on dispersant-treated oil at sea for the Mackay test. While both methods showed significant disadvantages, both were considered useful in predicting dispersant performance at sea.

Author Information

Byford, DC
Green, PJ
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Developed by Committee: F20
Pages: 69–86
DOI: 10.1520/STP30229S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-4906-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0400-6