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<span id=ctl00_ctlContentPlaceHolder_ctl00_ctlTopic_ctlPanelBar_ctlTopicsRepeater_ctl01_lblFullMessage><span id=ctl00_ctlContentPlaceHolder_ctl00_ctlPrivateMessage_ctlPanelBar_ctlPrivateMessageRepeater_ctl01_lblFullMessage>Hey,

Some of my family have attended some of the community meetings in regards to the oil spill and its effects. One of the things discussed was the program to get the locals out to fight the oil slick by deploying boom. It was brought up that the oil, especially in its unprocessed state, has a high sulfer content (like old diesel fuel). This is basically a floating form ofsomething similar to sulfuric acid and will cause the engines to corrode ata higher than normalrate and damage engines.

I have also seen where they are burning off the oil, which is effective in containing the spill. It burns off the toxins and leaves some sort of small black crusty balls that can be relatively easy to clean up. My next thought was "Where do the toxins go?" When the oil gets burned off the Gulf surface the toxins get dispersed with the smoke into the atmosphere. I am not going to global warming here :) The toxins get up into the clouds and form acid rain. This last rain storm that came through was sweeping off the Gulf but the associated "weather front" kept the water too rough to burn the oil. When it calms down they may burn again. Might want to make room in the garage (Good Luck!!) for the car and keep covers on your other outside valuables.

Something to keep in mind.

Thanks,

William
 

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Some oil is high sulfur, some is not. The sulfur in oil is mostly organic sulfur, which means it is tied up in the hydrocarbon molecule and won't be acid forming until oxidized or sometimes eaten by certain bacteria. I'd be surprised if there's enough sulfur in this amount of oil to affect the balance in the GoM and certainly not in the air after burning. There is a hell of a lot of sulfur still being released in the air by coal and oil fuels. Maybe someone is concerned about water cooling systems if you are operating in the slick, but I don't know how else you are going to get sulfur in your engine from this.

Most of the toxins in oil are organic (hydrocarbons) which means that you get CO2 and waterif you burn them completely, partially burned oil (in smoke) is definitely something to avoid. Such inorganic toxins as mercury and vanadium do exist in oil in varying amounts, but the amount from burning this oil will be lost in the mass of same from hydrocarbon fuel burning. If they burn enough to make a haze you might worry.
 
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