What are oil dispersants? 

Oil is lighter than water, so when it’s spilled into the sea, it floats on top until the mechanical motion of the water slowly breaks down and disperses it. 

 Dispersants are chemicals that assist this process to make the dispersal and breakdown of oil much more rapid. 

Through this process, dispersants can protect seabirds, mammals and coastline environments by preventing the oil coming ashore.

Before you use a dispersant, you should consider several factors: the type of oil, the spillage volume, degree of weathering and sea conditions, as well as weighing up the potential impacts of using the products with the effects of leaving the oil as is. 

It’s important to make the decision quickly, to reduce any environmental impact.

Different uses of dispersants 

If you’re treating an oil spill from the ocean or from the air, you’ll have a different approach. 

Treating from the ocean: A water dilutable dispersant

This concentrated dispersant is mixed at a ratio of one part dispersant to ten parts saline water or freshwater. Water dilutable dispersants should be sprayed onto the oil slick from a sea vessel. It helps to use surface breaker boards or other techniques that help agitate the water and emulsify the dispersant with the oil. 

Treating from the air: An undiluted dispersant 

This ready-to-use, concentrated dispersant is used undiluted. It is usually sprayed from aircraft at a ratio of one part dispersant to 20–30 parts of oil, and is very efficient at breaking down oil. 

Our recommendation: AGMA DR 379 Oil Spill Dispersant

Our concentrated blend of emulsifiers is designed to help you rapidly and effectively disperse oil spills and continue meeting marine regulations. It is licensed for application at sea, on sandy or pebble amenity beaches, and also on rocky shores. 

Importantly, AGMA DR 379 is approved by the UK licensing authorities to be used in both water dilutable and undiluted form.  

It’s key to have the right oil dispersant, and to use it correctly, to ensure you’re compliant with sector requirements and doing the best you can for the environment. Whether you’re approaching an oil spill from the ocean or the air, AGMA DR 379 is the perfect solution for your business. 

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