The effect of dispersants on the biodegradation of oil in natural sea water and sediment
The aim of this research is to understand how oil biodegradation is affected by chemical dispersant addition and the presence of suspended particles and plankton.
Adequate response to an oil spill is obviously of great importance to minimize environmental damage. However, as every oil spill is unique considering parameters such as oil volume, type of oil, and marine environmental parameters, it is a challenge to select the optimum response strategy. Furthermore, a thorough understanding of the effects of response on a longer time is often lacking.
The aim of this research is to understand how oil biodegradation is affected by chemical dispersant addition and the presence of suspended particles and plankton. Especially, the consequences of dispersant addition and the production of extra cellular polysaccharides (webbing) by plankton, on the fate and biodegradation of oil will be of interest.
Environmental conditions (electron donor/acceptor and temperature) will be varied to mimic the oil degradation and sedimentation on different locations.
The results of this study will feed into the overarching (C-IMAGE/TripleP@Sea) project, where the ultimate goal is to develop a decision support tool for oil spill response in the waters around St. Eustatius.