EBS Thesis Seminar: Slick Spectra: A Spectral Fluorescence Study of the Water-Accommodated Fraction of Crude Oil
Slick Spectra: A Spectral Fluorescence Study of the Water-Accommodated Fraction of Crude Oil
As exploitation of oil resources increases, the need to respond to accidents and better understand the impact of oil in the environment is growing commensurately. During the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, highly sensitive fluorometers were employed as cost effective tools for in situ tracking of underwater hydrocarbon plumes that resulted from crude oil released on the sea floor. However, concerns over sensitivity, relative performance of different sensor products, interferences, and simply how signals should be interpreted highlight the need to better understand fluorescence behavior of oil during spills.
Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds (PAHs) are an important and potentially toxic component of the crude oil fluorescence signal; however, existing fluorometers are not designed to specifically target PAHs. An investigation of the fluorescence properties associated with the water accommodated fraction (WAF) of a variety of crude oils in seawater was undertaken to further refine in situ instrument sensitivity for targeting PAHs.