Presentation on theme: "Basic Situation 4 °C 10 °C 30 °C25 °C Golf of Mexico, 2010: Crude mineral oil released from a leaking oil platform spills the ocean surface. The total."— Presentation transcript:
Basic Situation 4 °C 10 °C 30 °C25 °C Golf of Mexico, 2010: Crude mineral oil released from a leaking oil platform spills the ocean surface. The total amount was estimated approximately 8 million tonnes, which reflects the annual fuel consumption of all Austrian cars. In a distance of few meters below the ocean surface the temperature decreases dramatically and additionally there is lack in oxygen and light. Therefore the speed of biochemical processes becomes delayed.
A heavy mistake 4 °C 10 °C 30 °C25 °C To get rid of the crude oil at the ocean surface, BP/USA emulgates the oil by use of vast quantities (approximately 7 millions litres) of the dispergator Corexite, which is under discussion because of its problematic ecotoxicological properties.
The Consequence 4 °C 10 °C 25 °C The mixture of crude oil and Corexite sinks into deeper areas of the ocean. According to van t´Hoff´s rule reaction speeds are delayed by a factor 5-10. Consequently the decomposition of the crude mineral oil by microorganisms is delayed, too. Furthermore, the ecotoxicity of Corexite limits the necessary multiplication of oil destroying microorganisms.
The Result Crude oil attaches to the foamed plastic polymere particles by hydrophobic interaction. Addition of microorganisms and tensides has less impressive effects.
The Repair (1) 4 °C 10 °C 25 °C Substratification of the Corexit-crude oil –emulsion with foamed plastic polymeres, which are pretreated with tensides, leads to lifting of the emulsion towards the water surface due to the low specific weight of the foamed polymeres. Because of higher temperatures and sufficient oxygen saturation in that area near the water surface the decomposition rate of the crude oil and the multiplication of microorganisms is increased again.
The Repair (2) 4 °C 10 °C 25 °C30 °C Hydrophobic interactions lead to strong adhesion of the crude oil to the surface of the foamed polymeres, which are generally not reactive with the polar surrounding. The foamed polymere particles may be removed from the water surface by physical methods like fishing nets or suction devices. Furthermore, they may be recycled after decontamination.
Not Only Offshore 4 °C 10 °C 25 °C30 °C This method may be applied for protection of shores, too. Especially the prevention of oil spills at shores is among the most important ecological tasks after environmental oil contaminations.
Thank you for your attention! The method is registered at the Austrian Patent Office. (Number GM 410/2010).