June 14, 2010

Green dispersants wanted

I've been monitoring the news on chemical dispersants being used on the Gulf oil spill and my colleague in ICIS, Judith Taylor, wrote an excellent article about surfactants* as one of the active chemicals in dispersants.

Many surfactants these days use natural fats/oils-based raw materials and ICIS Pricing recently reported* a slight tightness in the fatty acid market:

-- US tall oil fatty acid supply tightens on BP oil spill demand

-- Oleic fatty acids, used in dispersants, tighten on BP oil spill

However, the dispersants themselves are causing environmental advocates to cry foul claiming it could do more harm than good because of unknown long-term effects. Nalco's Corexit 9500 and Corexit 9527 are particularly the two major dispersants that have been used on the spill.

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