|MadSci Network: Chemistry|
http://www.kmprc.or.kr/dataroom/2001iosc/PDF/00622.pdf Pure Appl. Chem., Vol. 71, No. 1, pp. 83–93, 1999. Printed in Great Britain.1999 IUPAC83 The interaction of fine particles with stranded oil* Edward H. Owens Owens Coastal Consultants Ltd, 755 Winslow Way East, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, USA ...The natural cleaning and removal processes of stranded oil from shorelines on exposed coasts have been understood for many years; they involve a simple relationship between the level of wave energy and the location of the oil. On open coasts, oil in the zone of normal wave action is rapidly abraded by physical processes and removed into the water column. The understanding of how shorelines clean themselves in the absence of wave energy and erosion, however, was not understood until a study conducted following the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 provided an explanation . During laboratory work on oiled sediments collected from Prince William Sound, Alaska, Bragg and his co-workers observed a process that involved the creation, in seawater, of a stable emulsion of micron- sized droplets of oil surrounded by micron-sized clays. The process of clay-oil flocculation reduced the adhesion of oil to other materials, such as sediment or bedrock and, once formed, the clay-oil flocs were easily removed by even gentle water motion. From a scientific point of view this discovery was not new. Studies on the surface properties of mineral, organic, and biologic fines had provided a body of knowledge related to the interactions of fine particles with hydrocarbons, and a number of investigators had studied these interactions as a mechanism for the adsorption and transport of hydrocarbons in seawater (e.g. [2,3]). These studies focused primarily on the offshore environment. The new element provided by the Bragg study was the recognition that this active, natural process was a mechanism that could explain how and why residual oil is removed from shorelines in the absence of hydraulic activity (waves and currents).The implications of the laboratory studies by Bragg’s team were quickly seen to be significant in developing an explanation for the documented large-scale removal of oil from sheltered shorelines in Prince William Sound that had occurred during the 1989–90 winter months . The natural cleaning of exposed shorelines in Prince William Sound could be explained easily as a consequence of hydraulic removal by winter wave action. The fact that many sections of oiled shoreline were naturally cleaned in the absence of wave action, in sheltered areas such as Northwest Bay or Herring Bay, could now be explained by the mechanism of clay-oil flocculation. Over the two years that followed, the new understanding gained from this study was applied to explain the changes that had been observed or documented on numerous other spill situations [5,6] .*Pure Appl. Chem. 71(1) (1999). An issue of special reports reviewing oil spill countermeasures. I think this is the article you were looking for.
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