Diploma Thesis Defense by Ms Maria Kehagia

"Efficiency of (bio)surfactants for oil dispersion under high pressure conditions "

Thesis Title:Efficiency of (bio)surfactants for oil dispersion under high pressure conditions

Friday 28 September 2018, at:12:30, Venue: Hall Κ2. Α7

Examination Committee

  • Professor Nicolas Kalogerakis (advisor)
  • Professor Nikolaos Pasadakis
  • Dr. Eleftheria Antoniou


The petroleum industry, which includes the worldwide exploration, extraction, refining and transportation of petroleum, as well as the production of petrochemical products, has been growing at a very fast pace in recent decades. The distinct importance of petroleum in modern times is known, with its demand having increased rapidly, which resulted in an increase in both its pumping rate and its transportation from source countries to others with high consumption rates. With the crude oil pumping rates via onshore drillings constantly increasing and given the fact that not all its sources were easily accessible, or located in shallow waters, a search for oil reserves began, even in deeper parts of the sea. Since 1896, when the first offshore drilling is dated, ever more pumping platforms have been getting installed at sea, while, at the same time, the probability of pollution by crude oil pollutants has been increasing as well. The pollution of the marine environment by crude oil can have catastrophic consequences for marine organisms, as well as the environment as a whole. There is a plethora of ways of managing pollution by crude oil, with usage of dispersion substances being the most widespread and most applied method among many. One of the most catastrophic accidents in offshore drilling history, the one that took place at the offshore drilling rig called “Deepwater Horizon” in the Gulf of Mexico, triggered the interest to research the behavior of dispersion substances in deep sea. The aim of the thesis at hand is to research and determine the efficiency of surfactant and biosurfactant substances, which were initially produced for use on surface oil slicks, in a pressurized environment. Furthermore, the goal of the extensive research of dispersion substances is the substitution of chemical substances, which have been proven to be toxic to marine organisms and to the environment, with dispersants of biological origin, so that environmental clean-up can be achieved without adding any further stress to it.