Micro-Solubilizes the Hydrocarbon and Encapsulates It
ECS products are based on micro-solubilization technology. Dr. McNeely pioneered the Gold Crew water-based chemistry in the 1960’s. When petroleum is agitated with the chemistry, the oil layer is almost instantly broken up into microscopic droplets of oil, each drop surrounded by a layer of the chemistry and water, the water being the continuous phase. The volatilization of the petroleum is drastically reduced, and these micro-solubilizations increase the petroleum’s bio-availability to the naturally occurring bacteria, allowing a rapid bio-degradation to occur. The chemistry is similar in action to the enzyme rhamnolipid, a glycolipid produced by many bacteria, such as pseudomonas aeruginosa.
A COMPLEX WATER-BASED SOLUTION
Originally Engineered to Meet Strict Standards set by the United States Navy
At the request of Navy personnel at the San Diego Naval Station, Dr. McNeely began work on a water-based dispersant for use during ship refueling operations.
The Navy established the following requirements for the water-based dispersant:
- It had to completely disperse the oil so it could remain in the water column without sinking to the bottom or floating on the surface. This process allows maximum biodegradation of the dispersed oil.
- Neither the dispersant nor the dispersed oil could cause any damage to the marine environment or operating personnel.
These were extremely difficult requirements to meet due to the long, almost landlocked San Diego Bay that served as nursery grounds for many juvenile fish. The requirements could only be met by exploiting the assumption that the toxicity of dispersed oil and dispersant are proportioned to the exposure time as well as to the concentration of oil and dispersant.
After several difficult years of research, Dr. McNeely developed a complex water-based solution of largely non-ionic surfactants and additives. When metered into a standard 1-1/2 inch fire hose at the high dilution of 40 or more parts of water to one part Gold Crew, the petroleum products would disperse into an emulsion almost instantly on contact with a hard, coarse stream of water. The additives would migrate and attach to the surface of the tiny emulsions, preventing them from coalescing on contact to reform the petroleum surface film.