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Hydrocarbons on sea water: steady-state spreading signatures determined

Author(s): Katarzyna Boniewicz-Szmyt | Stanisław Pogorzelski | Adriana Mazurek

Journal: Oceanologia
ISSN 0078-3234

Volume: 49;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 413;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Liquid wettability | Crude oil derivatives | Oil pollution geometry | Optical method | Contamination | Assessment relations

The spreading properties of several hydrocarbons (vegetable,engine, gear and crude oils) on distilled and artificial seawater were determined under laboratory conditions using a noveloptical method. With the aid of Langmuir's equation, the geometricalsignatures of a discrete lens of each hydrocarbon droplet floatingon a water tank served to calculate the enteringE (31.30-94.18 mN m-1) and spreadingS (-3.50 to -57.49 mN m-1) coefficients, and equilibriumthicknesses t∞ (0.20-1.25 cm). They appeared to be in agreementwith the values derived from direct interfacial tension measurements (Wilhelmyplate and stalagmometer methods). Empirical relations of the normalized lensradius rL / rdrop and S on the water surface tensionγAW were postulated as being of significant value in oil spillassessment studies at sea. The parameters obtained together with the surfaceproperties of a natural surfactant-containing water body represent theprincipal input data required for modelling the spreading of asurface-tension-gradient-driven oil spill at sea.
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