A model to predict rate of dissolution of toxic compounds into seawater from an oil spill

M R Riazi, Y A Roomi
International Journal of Toxicology 2008, 27 (5): 379-86
In this paper a semianalytical model has been proposed to predict the rate at which oil components dissolve in water when an oil spill occurs in a marine environment. The model breaks the oil into a number of pseudocomponents proportional to the number of compounds originally present in the oil and calculates the rate of dissolution for each component. In addition, the components are divided into paraffinic, naphthenic, and aromatic hydrocarbon types and the amount of dissolution of each pseudocomponent is calculated versus time. In this method the concentration of most toxic components of oil (mainly monoaromatics) is determined. The model considers variable surface area and slick thickness and requires oil specifications (i.e., American Petroleum Institute [API] gravity and boiling point) in addition to air and water temperatures and speeds. The model has been applied to a Kuwaiti crude oil and its products naphtha and kerosene samples at 20 degrees C and 40 degrees C. The results could be useful in selection of an appropriate method for oil spill clean up as well as simulation of environmental impact of oil spill from toxicity points of view.

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