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Comparing Methods of Cleaning of the Mauritius Oil Spill  

 

(@daniel)
Bronze Registered
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 8
19/08/2020 4:55 pm  

 

Method

Pros

Cons

Oil Booms - containment floatation devices

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boom_(containment)

Good ability to gather up oil to be contained in a certain area. 

Gathering oil is good to prevent contaminating the land. 

If oil spill is large, then it may be difficult to gather and contact the oil spill. 

  • Oil is merely contained, not removed. 

Only effective in calm water.

Skimmers - large vacuums attached to boats

https://www.stingraypartswasher.com/parts-washer-option-oil-skimmer.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_skimmer

Simple, with no byproducts. 

Able to efficiently separate the oil from the water to be disposed of. 

Some water will be removed along with the oil.

May not be fast and efficient. 

Trash and debris may lodge into the skimmer causing it to stop working. 

Sorbents - soaks oil by absorption ex. Hair and straw

https://www.marineinsight.com/environment/10-methods-for-oil-spill-cleanup-at-sea/

Natural ingredients that leave no toxic sludge when placed in water. 

No harmful byproducts when placed in water.

Easily maneuverable. 

More effective in smaller oil spills than larger oil spills.

  • Can be used to clean up larger oil spills. 

When retrieving the oil, the sorbent material will likely get heavier and sink. 

Dispersants - chemical dispersants dropped over the oil spill to separate oil particles that can be broken down for microbes to eat. 

https://www.nationalacademies.org/news/2019/04/dispersants-can-be-an-effective-tool-for-managing-impacts-during-a-major-marine-oil-spill-report-concludes#:~:text=Dispersants%20can%20reduce%20the%20amount,oil%20encountered%20by%20marine%20species.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dispersant#:~:text=Dispersants%20are%20used%20as%20plasticizers,more%20impervious%20to%20water%20penetration.

Easy and quick. 

Good remedy for large oil spills covering up large amounts of ocean water. 

Will be less effective for deeper oil spills.

Hard to locate exact location of oil spills.

Bad environmental impacts as where is this oil going? And chemicals may affect marine ecosystem. 

Difficult to conclude whether microbes can consume the oil. 

Burning Oil - burning the oil that is the surface of the water.

https://response.restoration.noaa.gov/oil-and-chemical-spills/oil-spills/resources/in-situ-burning.html

Good method to burn oil that is thick in water. 

Horrible, horrible, horrible for the environment.

Produces toxic fumes and soot.

Detrimental to the ecosystem.  

Bioremediation - introducing fungi and bacteria to break down the oil

https://www.marineinsight.com/environment/10-methods-for-oil-spill-cleanup-at-sea/

“Natural”

Introducing a new organism to an ecosystem may negatively affect native species. 

Hard to implement quickly. Implementation can take years. 

Gradual and slow process of breaking up the oil. And not optimal for larger oil spills cthat can affect the environment so quickly. 

Elastomizers - 

https://www.marineinsight.com/environment/10-methods-for-oil-spill-cleanup-at-sea/

Quick and efficient means of clumping up oil and collecting it. 

The gelatin byproduct may choke organisms and be detrimental to the environment. 

Relatively new so there’s not much research done on this. 

 


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