Oil dispersants can suppress natural oil-degrading microorganisms, new study shows

The use of chemical dispersants meant to stimulate microbial crude oil degradation can in some cases inhibit microorganisms that naturally degrade hydrocarbons, according to a new study . These findings are based on laboratory-simulated conditions that mimic Gulf of Mexico deep waters immediately following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The study examined microbial oil degradation in the Deepwater plume.