A Natural Oat-Derived Oil Spill DispersantEPA Contract Number: 68D10040
Title: A Natural Oat-Derived Oil Spill Dispersant
Investigators: Potter, Richard C.
Small Business: Basic Bio Systems Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Project Period: September 1, 1991 through March 1, 1992
Project Amount: $47,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1991) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Pollution Prevention , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
Description:Basic Bio Systems, Inc., proposes to investigate a novel approach to oil spill cleanup utilizing a natural, oat-derived dispersant. Proteinaccous oat fractions developed by Basic Bio Systems, Inc. have the ability to absorb several times their weight of a wide range of compounds, including hydrophobic materials such as oils. In addition, these frac- tions can function as effective emulsifiers, forming emul- sions under ambient conditions with low-energy mixing. The combination of these two characteristics allows these materials to function as oil spill dispersants. Placing the oat fractions on an oil slick causes absorption of the oil, producing an in situ emulsifiable concentrate. Subsequent wave and current action creates an emulsion, dispersing the oil into the water column.
Optimization of the dispersant type and physical form will be undertaken and comparisons in efficiency made with conventional surfactant dispersants using the Labofina test. Potential advantages of the oat-derived dispersant include low toxicity, ability to disperse "mousse," enhance- ment of the growth of hydrocarbon-metabolized organisms by providing a nutrient source, and providing an easily handled solid form.