Council work on chemical oil-spill dispersants
Dispersants are chemical substances applied to spilled oil that disperse oil into the water column rather than leaving it floating on the surface in a slick. This is similar to the effect of the use of soap on greasy dishes. Dispersant use is based on the concept of them dissolving the oil into droplets that will then dilute and spread out the oil and over a long time period allow microbial degradation to break down the hydrocarbons in the droplets.
Dispersants have been used extensively in the response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Our council has studied dispersants in great detail, including commissioning extensive research.