Microfluidic characterization of dispersants used in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill

Chuntian Hu, Carina Herz, Ryan L. Hartman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is regarded as the worst ecological disaster in the history of the United States. It has broadly impacted the environment and the local communities in the Gulf region. One of the immediate responses to oil spill was the treatment with dispersants in the deep sea and at the ocean surface. The focus of our research is the study of dispersant chemistry added to the surface of ocean. Here, we apply microfluidic devices to characterize the effect of dispersion on a micro-scale, and develop understanding of particle-oil-water interactions in the presence of the dispersants. The field of multiphase microfluidics has rapidly grown over the last decade and with a broad cross-section of applications. In this work, we exploit the advantages of performing chemical transformations on the micro-scale to elucidate the role of dispersant concentration on the oil-water fluid flow. A problem of particular interest also is the stabilization of oil-water phases in the presence of particulates at the ocean surface. Here, we apply multiphase microflows to assess the phase behavior in the presence of particulates. These results will be presented and discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication11AIChE - 2011 AIChE Annual Meeting, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2011
Event2011 AIChE Annual Meeting, 11AIChE - Minneapolis, MN, United States
Duration: Oct 16 2011Oct 21 2011

Publication series

Name11AIChE - 2011 AIChE Annual Meeting, Conference Proceedings


Other2011 AIChE Annual Meeting, 11AIChE
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMinneapolis, MN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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