Oil spills are a very dangerous occurrence for marine ecosystem is affected and the marine life-forms’ existence gets unnecessarily threatened. Since exploration of oil from oceanic resources has become a must and oil spills end up occurring accidently, as a result, it becomes important to employ various oil spill cleanup methods.
There are different methodologies that can be adopted for the purpose of cleaning up oil spills. Some of the few important and commonly used methods can be explained as follows:
Using Oil Booms: Oil booms are a very popular method of controlling oil spills. There are various kinds of oil booms that have been designed for various areas where the oil spillage might occur, leading to a quite thorough oil spill cleanup.
Using Sorbents: Sorbents mean sponges that are placed on the surface of the spillage affected area. These sorbents suck and absorb the oil from the surface of the water leading to an oil spill cleanup.
Burning In-situ: In simple terms, this means burning of the oil on the site where the spillage has occurred. The burning has to be done quite promptly before the oil spill can spread to a larger area. But the most important disadvantage of such an on-site burning is that the exhaust that is released contains toxic particles that can cause damage to the oceanic air in addition to the marine life-forms.
Using dispensers: This method involves using fertilizers to disperse the oil spillage in the water. Even though the method sounds and looks unconventional, it is one of the highly recommended oil spillcleanup methods. The fertilizers help to hasten the growth of micro-organisms which help to diffuse the components of the oil spilt in the water.
Skimming: As the name suggests, skimming involves the removal of the oil spillage with the help of tools and equipments from the surface of the water. The most important aspect to be noted that only lighter oils can be separated and removed from the water in this method of cleaning up oil spills. This is because the density of oil will tend to be lighter than the density of water.
Using Hot water and huge force: In this method, huge force of the hot water is used to push the oil spilt back into the water. Then with the help of the skimming tools and equipments, the oil spill cleanup operation takes place.
Using Manual labour: People in the coastal areas and beaches can help to accelerate the oil spill cleanupoperation. By using simple tools like spades and shovels, removing and isolating the area affected by oil spillage is possible.
Using Technological aid: By using cranes and tractors, the oil spillage area in beaches and coastal areas can be cleaned.If it is not possible to carry out the oil spill cleanup operation, there itself they can be taken to labs and other equipped areas where the oil spill can be separated from the sand and other items generally found in the beaches and coastal areas.
Using natural methods: The simplest method of dealing with the oil spill cleanup operation is to make use of the components of nature like the sun, the wind, the weather and the tides. The particles of the oil spill, in due course of time evaporate because of the constancy of these elements. This also forms the most cost efficient and the slowest method of cleaning up oil spills.
With the help of these methods of oil spill cleanup, the task and its hugeness do not affect the optimism of the person. Just like one makes use of the broom, these methods are adopted to clean affected and problematic areas at a much higher level. However it can be hoped that since many shipping companies are getting aware of the risks and problems caused to the oceanic atmosphere, the requirement of such oil spill cleanup methods will reduce in the days to come.
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References: yahoo, howstuffworks, ehow, thinkquest, ehow,ceoe, itopf