Ipieca and IOGP have launched a quick reference infographic and video for local responders to use when deciding whether to spray surface dispersant on oil spills.
Dispersants are detergent-like liquids that break down large surface oil slicks into tiny droplets. These droplets sink from the water surface into the very top layer of the water column where naturally occurring oil-eating bacteria also live. These tiny oil droplets are now the width of a human hair, making it much easier for the bacteria to eat the oil which increases the rate of biodegradation.
The oil spill response industry has many good practice guides and technical manuals that explain what dispersants are, and when and how to use them correctly. The new Dispersant decision toolkit draws together this information in a clear and concise infographic poster and animated video. These tools are quick to consult and guide the user through every key decision that needs to be made before using dispersants, helping first responders decide if dispersant use is appropriate.