(24c) Efficient Dispersion of Crude Oil By Food-Grade Surfactants: The Potential of Lecithin

McCormick, A., University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Bothun, G., University of Rhode Island
John, V. T., Tulane University
Raghavan, S. R., University of Maryland
For decades, dispersants used for marine oil spills have been formulated with a blend of particular surfactants that are known to ensure effective dispersion at sea. After the Deepwater Horizon event, interest arose about what alternative surfactants might also be suitable to consider for future use. In this presentation we will briefly summarize one promising avenue that has emerged – using food-grade lecithin. Of our team, the Raghavan group first showed the potential for lecithin/tween80 blends. We will survey what we have learned about the reasons this type of blend in particular can be especially successful. We will also suggest questions about the potential benefits and challenges of such formulations for quickly dispersing crude oil at sea with low shear energy.

Some of the literature from which we will draw perspectives includes:

Athas, J. C., Jun, K., McCafferty, C., Owoseni, O., John, V. T., & Raghavan, S. R. (2014). An Effective Dispersant for Oil Spills Based on Food-Grade Amphiphiles. Langmuir, 30(31), 9285–9294.

Riehm, D., & McCormick, A. (2014). The role of dispersants' dynamic interfacial tension in effective crude oil spill dispersion. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 84(1-2), 155–163

Riehm, D. A., Neilsen, J. E., Bothun, G. D., John, V. T., Raghavan, S. R., & McCormick, A. V. (2015). Efficient dispersion of crude oil by blends of food-grade surfactants: Toward greener oil-spill treatments. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 101(1), 92–97.

Riehm, D. A., Rokke, D. J., & McCormick, A. V. (2016). Water-in-Oil Microstructures Formed by Marine Oil Dispersants in a Model Crude Oil. Langmuir, 32(16), 3954–3962

Riehm, D. A., Rokke, D. J., Paul, P. G., Lee, H. S., Vizanko, B. S., & McCormick, A. V. (2017). Dispersion of oil into water using lecithin-Tween 80 blends: The role of spontaneous emulsification. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 487, 52–59.

Rocchio, J., Neilsen, J., Everett, K., & Bothun, G. D. (2017). A solvent-free lecithin-Tween 80 system for oil dispersion. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 533, 218–223.

Owoseni, O., Zhang, Y., Omarova, M., Li, X., Lal, J., McPherson, G. L., Raghavan, S.R., Bose, A., John, V.T. (2018). Microstructural characteristics of surfactant assembly into a gel-like mesophase for application as an oil spill dispersant. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 524, 279–288.