Oil spill cleanups are considered to be highly complex because no two oil spills are the same. Oil spills can differ in terms of oil types, locations, and weather conditions. Many different approaches are being adopted to fight oil spills and oil spill pollution. The main methods currently being used are natural dispersal, booms and skimmers, dispersants, in-situ burning, and bioremediation.
The natural way
If an oil spill is unlikely to affect the coastal region or the ecosystem, then it is usually best to let it disperse naturally. The wind, sun, current, and waves work together to disperse and evaporate oils quickly.
Booms and skimmers
Spilled oil floats on water and forms a slick that ranges from fractions of a millimeter to a few millimeters thick. Different types of booms ranging from inflatable neoprene tubes to solid, buoyant material are used to enclose the slick and isolate as well as restrict its movement. The slick is then scooped or sucked into storage tanks by skimmers. However, booms and skimmers require calm waters and are not very effective in high winds and high seas.
Dispersants and in-situ burning
Using an oil spill dispersant is another common way to clean oil spills. These materials break down the oil into its chemical components and help disperse it, thereby minimizing the damage to the ecosystem. For optimal results, dispersants should be applied within two hours of the spill.
In-situ burning, where the oil on the water surface is ignited, is also a method used to fight oil spillage. However, it is not eco-friendly, as it produces toxic smoke that can harm the environment. Bioremediation, on the other hand, is a very environmentally-friendly option.
Bioremediation is the process of using microorganisms or their enzymes to restore the environment affected by a spill to its original condition. Green products, like Oil Gone Easy S-200, help clean oil spills without harming the environment through bioremediation.
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