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Press Release, 23 June 99

IUPAC Publishes Review of Oil Spill Countermeasures Technologies and Response Methods

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has published a Special Issue of its flagship journal Pure and Applied Chemistry (Volume 71, No. 1, 1999) that addresses the current state of knowledge in the field of oil spill response technology.

Although oil spills are not generally regarded as a pure or even applied chemistry issue, the environmental, physical, operational, and legal elements of every spill incident are related to the complex chemistry of the oil and its breakdown products released to the environment. The articles included in the Special Issue generally reflect and review the latest information available in their topic areas and are representative of the most recent surge in research and development activities, stimulated particularly by the Exxon Valdez spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska in 1989. The manuscripts have been contributed by recognized international experts in the major categories of oil spill response research, and they have received the benefit of peer review.

Topics covered include the following:

  • Oil fate and physico-chemical behavior
  • Mechanical countermeasure developments
  • Remote sensing for surveillance of spills and support in response actions
  • Separation of recovered oil and water in relation to response and disposal
  • Oil spill dispersants from an operational and environmental perspective
  • Burning of spilled oil as a response measure
  • Use and issues surrounding chemical countermeasures other than dispersants
  • Contribution of mineral fines and colloids
  • Occupational health aspects in response
  • Net ecological effectiveness of countermeasures and response actions
  • Bioremediation
  • Ice-covered waters as a special response environment
  • Orimulsion as a special case for response
  • Appropriate technology for oil spill management in developing nations

These articles serve to capture the applied chemistry knowledge and experience of practitioners in a complex field, the application of which remains essential for the development of improved oil spill countermeasures and their effective use in real spill situations.

For further information, visit the IUPAC web site at

or contact the IUPAC Secretariat, P.O. Box 13757, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-3757, USA. Phone: +1 919 485 8700, Fax: +1 919 485 8706, E-mail: [email protected].


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