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Research from Prof. Francisco Hung Featured on Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Website

August 11, 2017

ChE Associate Professor Francisco Hung’s research program is focused on molecular modeling of several systems relevant to energy storage, development of novel materials, and environmental applications. One of their major areas of interest include modeling organic molecules adsorbed on environmentally relevant interfaces (e.g., rain and seawater droplets, snowflakes). The story “Study Characterizes Effects of Corexit Components on Oil Aerosolization” highlights the research on the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) website.

“In our combined experimental/simulation study featured by GoMRI, we studied how organic matter from an oil spill in the sea (i.e., alkanes from oil, surfactants from the dispersants used to combat the oil spill) could be aerosolized into the atmosphere. Our results suggest that important quantities of oil spill matter can be transported into the air adsorbed on sea sprays, which are seawater droplets generated in important quantities by breaking waves at the sea surface,” Prof. Hung explains.

 “The 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill motivated intensive research on the environmental fate and toxicity of oil in water and in sediments, but surprisingly only a few studies on the transport of oil spill matter into the atmosphere. We hope to spawn additional studies on this area, for example estimating how much oil spill matter was transported into the atmosphere, as well as possible environmental and toxicity effects,” Prof. Hung remarks.