Dropping Dispersants (image) Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Share Print E-Mail Caption Responders conducted 412 flights to spray chemical dispersants onto oil floating atop the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon crisis in 2010. New studies led by scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution show that oil is rapidly photo-oxidized by sunlight. Dispersants are much less effective at breaking up photo-oxidized oil.So the window of opportunity to use dispersants effectively is shorter than previously thought, especially in sunny weather. Credit Stephen Lehmann, US Coast Guard Usage Restrictions with proper credit Share Print E-Mail Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.