Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Environmental Analysis
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Identifying Source of Oil Sheens Near Deepwater Horizon Site

Published: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Scientists have used comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography from LECO to confirm that the sheen samples skimmed from the sea surface contained oil from the Macondo well.

Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) successfully completed a chemical analysis of oil sheens recently found floating at the ocean’s surface near the site of the Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The study, funded by the DEEP-C consortium and the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Division of Ocean Sciences and Division of Earth Sciences, found that the oil sheens were caused by pockets of oil trapped in the wreckage of the sunken rig, confidently ruling out concerns that the Macondo well, which was capped in July 2010, might be leaking. 

Sampling-Team.gif

The sampling team in October in 2012 (left to right): Dave Valentine, Robert Nelson, Matthias Kellermann, and Chris Reddy. (Image provided by Chris Reddy, WHOI.)

After comparing the sheen samples to other field samples analyzed over the past three years, scientists found a match in the chemical makeup of the sheens with debris from the Deepwater Horizon found floating in May 2010. 

”We were able to determine that the source of the leaking oil at the Deepwater Horizon accident site was not from the reservoir, but instead from the wreckage of the drilling rig,” said Robert Nelson of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. “This was accomplished with very state-of-the-art forensic analysis of the oil film at the sea surface using LECO GC×GC instruments at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. What this paper convincingly shows is that it is possible to fingerprint petroleum and refined petroleum products accurately and on a compound-specific level using GC×GC. Further, this type of high resolution analysis is not possible on small volume trace-level components using conventional GC techniques. This paper showcases the power of the GC×GC technique and how it can be utilized in real-world applications, and in this case, as a powerful forensic tool in a problem of national significance.”

Chromatogram.gif

This chromatogram obtained using LECO GCxGC technology shows the chemical compounds present in an oil sheen sample. (Image provided by Robert Nelson, WHOI.) 

The results of the research were recently published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. The research team consisted of Chris Reddy, Christoph Aeppli, and Robert Nelson of WHOI; and David Valentine and Matthias Kellermann of UCSB. In addition to the NSF, the research was funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, the WHOI, and a Swiss National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. For more information on this study from the NSF, click here


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,300+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

LECO Announces Special Events at ASMS
Special events at the 61st ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics, June 9-13 in Minneapolis.
Thursday, June 06, 2013
LECO Partners with the Joint Mass Spectrometry Centre
The LECO European Life Sciences and Chemical Analysis Centre is providing access to high resolution mass spectrometry instrumentation to the Joint Mass Spectrometry Centre.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Scientific News
Peer Review is in Crisis, But Should be Fixed, Not Abolished
After the time to get the science done, peer review has become the slowest step in the process of sharing studies, and some scientists have had enough.
Personalized Antibiotic Treatment
Researchers have developed a sensor platform that quantifies antibiotics in human blood within minutes.
Turning Greenhouse Gas into Gasoline
New catalyst provides design principles for producing fuels from carbon dioxide emissions.
Pollution Emitted Near Equator has Biggest Impact on Global Ozone
Research reveals changing global pollution emissions are generating imbalances in the production of ozone.
2 Billion Children Breathing Unsafe Air
UNICEF report reveals that 1 in 7 children live in areas of toxic outdoor pollution, with 2 billion in areas exceeding minimum air quality.
Nanobionic Spinach Detects Dangerous Chemicals
Scientists have changed spinach plants into biosensors that can detect harful chemicals and wirelessly relay the information.
"Farming" Bacteria to Boost Growth in the Oceans
Scientists discover bacteria found in marine animals can fix nitrogen as well as carbon.
Researchers Invent ‘Perfect’ Soap Molecule
Researchers create new, enivonmentally friendly soap molecule from renewable sources.
Achieving “Green” Desalination
Workshop explores ways to reduce or eliminate the carbon footprint of seawater desalination plants.
Adapt, Move or Die in Coral Reefs
As oceans warm, coral reef fish might prefer to move rather than adapt, research suggests.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
SELECTBIO

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,300+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!