Presentation on theme: "O IL S PILL C LEANUP. B OOMS If a crew can reach a spill within an hour or two, it may choose containment and skimming to clean up the slick. Long, buoyant."— Presentation transcript:
O IL S PILL C LEANUP
B OOMS If a crew can reach a spill within an hour or two, it may choose containment and skimming to clean up the slick. Long, buoyant booms which float on the water and a skirt that hangs below the water contain the slick and keep the oil from spreading out.
S KIMMER This makes it easier to skim oil from the surface, using boats that suck or scoop the oil from the water and into containment tanks.
S ORBENT A slick like this may also call for sorbents -- large sponges that absorb the oil from the water. Cleanup crews may set the oil on fire in a process called in situ burning, but this produces toxic smoke, and probably wouldn't be used in a spill near coastal settlements.
C HEMICAL A GENT Dispersants do not reduce the total amount of oil entering the sea. They can, however, dissolve a slick before it reaches the shoreline, where the oil smears birds and marine mammals and turns beaches and coastal wetlands black. The chemical agents used as dispersants work by reducing the tension between oil and water, thereby enhancing the natural process of dispersion that takes place when waves mix large numbers of small oil droplets into the water beneath a spill.
An oil spill reached relatively quickly and located away from towns is the easiest to clean up by one of these methods. But rarely do things work out so easily. Oil spills are generally very messy, hazardous and environmentally threatening. Spills may reach shorelines, have time to spread and affect wildlife.
Paper towels are able to absorb because they are pourous, which means that they have many tiny holes and gaps. These holes and gaps are able to suck up the water due to capillary action. Each little space in the surface of the paper towel has its own tiny bubble of surface tension, or capillary action. These bubbles are formed when the towel comes into contact with liquid because the liquid in each tiny space is kept separate from the liquid in other pores and pockets. This allows the bubbles of liquid to be held in place and even sucked upward because each pocket contains so little water that the intermolecular attraction is stronger than the gravitational pull on the liquid.