How Is an Oil Spill Cleaned Up? Deep within the earth is typically where oil can be found. Only some locations contain oil; it is not present everywhere. As a result, it might be necessary to transport oil over great distances before using it. Oil tankers, big ships that can transport a lot of oil across the ocean, are sometimes used to transport oil.
Other times, oil may move through a pipeline, much to how water moves through pipes into our houses, from one location to another. In either case, leaks are possible. Pipelines can rupture and oil tankers might capsize. As a result, oil may spill from its container. We refer to this as an oil spill.
On land or in the ocean, there can be an oil spill. The water has been the site of some of the worst oil spills. This makes sense because it’s harder to clean up spills on water! Animals that dwell in or close to water might suffer a great deal from oil.
Animals can suffer harm from oil in a number of ways. Sea otters and other animals with fur experience reduced insulating fur as a result of the oil. Then they can get too cold. The same is true for birds. They can either become too hot or too chilly because the oil makes their feathers less water-repellent. Oil can make birds and other animals sick if they ingest it. The oil can also make fish and shellfish sick. The consumption of oily fish or shellfish by other animals has the potential to make them ill as well. Humans shouldn’t consume fish that has been exposed to oil either.
Many individuals come together after an oil spill to try to clean it up as best they can. There are numerous ways it could succeed. One method is to use a physical barrier to keep the oil out of particular areas. It’s referred to as a boom. Sometimes an oil boom can keep the oil contained. Additionally, it can be utilised to prevent oil from entering sensitive locations like bird or sea turtle breeding sites.
Oil can also be removed from water by skimming, or scooping, it. This work is done by a variety of devices. Sadly, it doesn’t always work like that. It depends on the amount of oil in the water and the thickness of the oil film.
For people and animals close to the oil spill, the first two techniques are the safest. But if they don’t work, we turn to additional techniques to assist in cleaning the oil. The first is to burn some of the oil off. We can burn oil that is floating directly on top of the water when there is a lot of it there. Use of compounds that function similarly to soap is another option. These break up the oil into numerous, much smaller fragments. When we use soap to clean oily dishes, you have seen this process in action!
Nobody wants an oil spill to occur. However, when they do, scientists might get knowledge from their attempts to remove oil. They are constantly looking for novel approaches to clean up oil spills. Robots have lately been employed by some to locate and absorb oil. Others are soaking up a lot of oil with sponges.
Content for this question contributed by Kristina Cady, resident of Ware, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, USA