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Earth Science

Oil Detection Methods Miss Important Class of Chemicals 46

MTorrice writes "For decades, scientists studying oil spills have relied on the same analytical methods when tracking the movement of oil and assessing a spill's environmental impact. But these techniques miss an entire class of compounds that could account for about half of the total oil in some samples, according to research presented last week at the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference, in New Orleans. These chemicals could explain the fate of some of the oil released in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident and other spills, the researchers say."
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Oil Detection Methods Miss Important Class of Chemicals

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  • Oxidized stuff (Score:4, Interesting)

    by vlm ( 69642 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:47PM (#42742949)

    Oxidized stuff is kind of vague, chemically speaking. I'd love to look at the real paper (as opposed to the journalist interpretation) but I can't gain access. Just spins. Donno if its a free paper or paywall time.

    Organic compounds containing oxygen... well, its been 20 years but are they talking about organic acids or ketones or aldehydes or alcohols or some freaky epoxides (that would be a WTF for sure). Doesn't have to be exclusive could be any mix of course.

    I'm not a petroleum engineer but I play one on /. After cooking a million years underground I would think any trapped O2 would turn into water and CO2 as opposed to halfway stuff, so this indicates bioavailability after it leaked out... in other words its already half eaten up.

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