Researcher on Corexit: “I have heard that ammonium sulfate was added to the dispersant” — Product of sulfuric acid and ammonia

Live @ AAAS - Samantha Joye on BP Oilspill Impact (Transcript), Science Mag, February 21, 2011:

[Comment From Michele Walker-Harmon:]

Could the use of dispersants at the wellhead be to blame for the microbial slow down

[Comment From Guest:]

My questions a follow up of the first readers question. Dispersants were added to take care of the nutrient avaliability right? i thought that Dispersants added to the nutrient content in the gulf supposedly helping the microbes to degrade the oil. Am i right?

University of Georgia researcher Samantha Joye:

Michele and Guest: Dispersants could influence microbial activity--we are trying to get dispersant from NALCO to study its impacts on pure cultures and natural microbial communities. And, I have heard that ammonium sulfate was added to the dispersant to alleviate nitrogen limitation of the oil degrading microorganisms BUT I have not seen hard evidence of this.

Dry, powdered ammonium sulfate may be formed by spraying sulfuric acid into a reaction chamber filled with ammonia gas - Wikipedia

The reaction of ammonia with sulfuric acid? The product is ammonium sulfate. -

Aquatic ecotoxicity of ammonium sulfate:

Effects Noted

  • Amphibians: Growth, Mortality
  • Annelida: Mortality, Population
  • Aquatic Plants:  Population
  • Cnidaria: Physiology
  • Crustaceans: Behavior, Histology, Intoxication, Mortality, Physiology
  • Fish: Accumulation, Behavior, Biochemistry, Cell(s), Development, Enzyme(s), Feeding Behavior, Growth, Histology, Hormone(s), Intoxication, Mortality, Physiology, Reproduction
  • Insects: Mortality, Population
  • Molluscs: Behavior, Biochemistry, Enzyme(s), Growth, Mortality, Population
  • Nematodes and Flatworms: Mortality
  • Phytoplankton: Accumulation, Biochemistry, Mortality, Physiology, Population
  • Zooplankton: Behavior, Biochemistry, Genetics, Growth, Intoxication, Mortality, Physiology, Population, Reproduction

See also: BP’s use of Corexit dispersant will kill the Gulf with sulfuric acid: Environmental engineer

10 comments to Researcher on Corexit: “I have heard that ammonium sulfate was added to the dispersant” — Product of sulfuric acid and ammonia

  • Ammonium Sulphate is another VOC: Why would BP use it since it would seem redundant? Plus, it's in powder form from what I understand.

    Perhaps I missed a major point in the article; a point I may not have understood in the table provided. It seems *most* of the biochemical mechanisms as presented are the same as those understood to have taken place in the original VOC's.

    If a VOC is a VOC -- then, whether its name is Sally or Jane, it's chemistry and expressions are the same. I'm thinking...

    PAH + VOC + VOC = Same as ...
    PAH + VOC = Ain't it?

    Please relieve me of my confusion. I'm too tired to drag my library up-the-mountain tonight. And, if that ain't bad enough, I'm out of my bedtime tea-and-honey. And, I'm feeling so dispirited that my little chin has come to rest on my collarbone -- and I didn't even tell it to do that.

    It ain't easy *not knowing*.

  • soozla

    Oh -gosh...I don't see the purpose of adding ammonium sulphate..chemically.. and BECAUSE..the "added ingredient " is in the formula.
    Organic sulfonic acid salt.
    See acid catalyst.

  • soozla:

    Whew! Your 'wiki' reference darn near floored me. That information must be suitable for a third year chemistry course -- for those college students who planning to major in chemistry.

    When I stumbled out of that wiki room, I collapsed to the floor -- gasping in my ignorance. Good grief! My entire day has been destroyed.

    I had planned to spend my day being creative and thinking about how to get my library up the mountain. But now, I'm too short on self esteem to figure out where I left my barn boots.

    So, all I got left to do is just sit-and-pout, all the day long -- because I don't want to do nothing else to prove I ain't the most brilliant sparkle in the ocean. Sniff, sniff.

  • xdrfox

    There were reports and videos/pics of a powder/sand like, floating in the waters with the foam in places. (sulfonic acids are often soluble in water or exhibit detergent-like properties) You know this may explain the muriatic acid smell that permeated the morning dew air so many mornings were my lungs refused to take it in being so strong. Shut the door and wait till it warms up outside.

  • soozla

    @ Biscuit.
    I'm sure... that corexit stuff will melt barn boots.
    Seems some of the third year chemistry students..were too busy messing around behind the barn to pay attention to the lessons...
    Sulphonic acid helps the acidic properties of the dispersant work faster.
    And Biscuit, you know perfectly well that my brain is just a slice of Wonder Bread and yours is Texas Toast.

  • soozla:

    Are you trying to tell me my barn boots are gone? That they were eaten up by a super acid, oh, what was that word xdrfox used, a *muriatic* just as high-as-a-kite on an acid boost!

    Ain't that something? Does anybody know what nationality that *murianic* fellow is? We gotta find him and git him to church on Sunday -- and off them drugs.

  • xdrfox

    opp's, lol too early and blurried eyed, spell check taken advantage of and spell check taught me a leason, not to always asume it will fix everthing I goofed on. lol : o
    Hydrochloric acid , also called muriatic acid, used to clean concrete. Sodium percarbonate Sodium perborate Morris Powder Donkey Stone ...

  • soozla

    Most acids smell like hell.. just sayin..

  • xdrfox

    Wait, I didn't mis-spell "muriatic" lol

  • Well, I told ya'll I'm a bad speller didn't I? And that's why I'm so determined to git my library up the mountain, and bring it inside my abode, just as so I can nuture my brain.

    I got me 8 books in my library and about 3 bookmarks. Now, ain't I something!

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