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The State-of-the-Art Unraveling of the Biotic and Abiotic Chemical Evolution of Macondo Oil: 2010-2018

Implementing Organization

Florida State University


DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI)

Funding Program

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative GoMRI Grant Program


Project Category


Project Actions

Chemical Aspects Research

Targeted Resources

Human and/or Institutional Capacity

Project Description

Once released into the environment, petroleum undergoes physical processes that modify its native composition and chemical processes. Efforts documenting these weathering trends for Macondo well oil (MWO) from approximately 10 months post-spill to the present demonstrate that a pool of persistent oxidized petroleum-derived material increased with increasing weathering of MWO in the environment. However, not much is yet known about the molecular structure of the oxygenated transformation products, its environmental fate, or potential effects, as these oxidized products lie largely outside the conventional gas chromatography analytical window. This project will apply new techniques to understand how these weathering processes occur, quantify rate(s) of oxygenated oil weathering product formation and degradation, and characterize toxicological effects.


Ryan P. Rodgers
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