Sunday, 30 January 2011

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Cleanup Methods

Each link below opens more information on a method or type of equipment used during the cleanup of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in a new window.

On The Water

Boom comes in many sizes, shapes, and types and is used primarily to deflect and/or collect oil.
Fresh oil contains gases which are very volatile. By igniting these gases whole oil slicks can be reduced to tarry residue.
Dispersants are used to do just that, disperse. They are chemicals that break-up oil into smaller and smaller concentrations. Potentially into individual molecules.
Skimming is a mechanical system for removing oil from the surface. This process was created based on the reality that oil is lighter than water.
On The Beach
The application of certain fertilizers to beaches stimulates the growth of "oil-eating" microbes. This fertilizing process is known as Bioremediation.
Chemical Cleaning
In an attempt to avoid Hot Water & High Pressure treatment, chemical cleaners were tested which removed oil from the beach for collection.
Hot Water & High Pressure
By using hot water at high pressure, cleanup crews blast oil off beaches into the water where it can be skimmed off.
Manual Treatment
Manual treatment incorporates the use of shovels, rakes, absorbent materials and human hands.
Mechanical Treatment
Tractors, backhoes, front-end loaders, and other machines were used to move beach and scoop up asphalt collections.