International Directory of Oil Spill Cleanup Contractors

Oil Spill Equipment Glossary

Oil spill dispersant spray systems

Dispersant Application systems

It is important the oil spill dispersant chemical is applied in the correct manner so that the chemical can do its job of dispersing the oil into the water column. Droplet size needs to be in the region of 500 microns ( coarse rain ) – if it is any finer the dispersant will potentially blow away in the wind, if it is any larger then the dispersant goes through the oil layer and straight into the water.

When installing a ship mounted spray system the nozzles need to be approx 1 to 2m above the water. With the correct nozzles this should give an even spray pattern and prevent the chemical being blown across the deck. Consideration needs to be given if the chemical is to be applied neat or diluted. This will depend on the type of chemical and the viscosity / nature of the oil to be dispersed.

Helicopters can be used to apply oil spill dispersant as well as airplanes. They have the advantage of being able to treat larger areas more rapidly. The spray system has to be approved for the type of helicopter. It must be able to manage the weight of the underslung load – which also has to be stable in the air and a have quick release mechanism.

Crop dusting planes may also be used. Dispersant systems are available for large heavy lift aircraft such as C130.

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