Determinants of airborne benzene evaporating from fresh crude oils released into seawater
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, naphthalene and n-hexane evaporating from a thin oil film was measured for 30 min in a small-scale test system at 2 and 13 °C and the impact of physicochemical properties on airborne benzene with time after bulk oil release was studied. Linear mixed-effects models for airborne benzene in three time periods; first 5, first 15 and last 15 min of sampling, indicated that benzene content in fresh oil, oil group (condensate/light crude oil) and pour point were significant determinants explaining 63–73% of the total variance in the outcome variables. Oils with a high pour point evaporated considerably slower than oils with a low pour point. The mean air concentration of total volatile organic compounds was significatly higher at 13 °C (735 ppm) compared to 2 °C (386 ppm) immediately after release of oil, but at both temperatures the concentration rapidly declined.