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Underwater Dispersants

The use of underwater dispersants was purely experimental when the BP oil spill first occurred. Similar in nature to traditional dispersants, the idea is that underwater dispersants attach to the oil before it can reach the surface, thus minimizing the amount of oil that eventually lands on shore.

This technique, however, requires the use of remote vehicles to apply the chemicals, which may be less effective at extreme depths. Being that this technique is not completely tested, critics worry that breaking up oil at extreme depths may release more toxic components into the water and could potentially damage the underwater ecosystem.

Photo: BP