Essay on Questions and Answers on How to Clean Up Oil Spills

1000 Words 4 Pages
Oil Spills
1. a. What are some chemical methods that are used to clean up an oil spill? There are many different chemical methods used to clean up oil spills. Dispersants are used to break down the oil and speed up its natural decomposition. There are three different types of dispersants. The first type is a hydrocarbon based solvent. These dispersants are sprayed onto the affected area to dilute the oil contamination. The second type of dispersants are made of alcohol or glycol solvent. These dispersants are also used to dilute the amount of oil in the sea water. Type one and type two have to be thoroughly mixed with the oil after it has been applied to ensure best outcome. The last type of dispersants are similar to the first two
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One problem with solidifiers is that they cannot be used on heavy oils. These products both have advantages and disadvantages.

2. a. What are some physical methods that can be used to clean up oil spills? Physical methods aid in the removal of oil and help diminish contamination on the shorelines. One way to clean up contaminated areas is to wipe with absorbent materials. Materials that are able to absorb oil are used to clean up contaminated shorelines. These materials are often made as large squares or designed as mops. These materials are designed to wipe shorelines and be filled with as much oil as possible. Another physical method to remove oil is to pressure wash. Pressure washing is used to effectively remove the oil from shorelines using different levels of pressure. When pressure washing, hot or cold water may be used. Low pressure washing is used when the oil is still fresh and is easy to remove. The longer that the oil had sat and weathered, the higher and hotter the pressure has to be. While pressure washing, the oil is sent down plastic trenches, absorbed and properly disposed. A lot of vegetation grows in oil infected areas. Pressure washing may be used on vegetation but it is best if low pressure is used. The higher the pressure, the more likely it is that the plant will be damaged or destroyed. These are both physical methods that reduce oil damage to ecosystems and animals.

b. What are the advantages and

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