Class-Researched Methods of Cleaning Up Oil Spills

...include a brief synopsis and the source.

  • Students will use these sources AND data from their lab to compare & evaluate two methods of oil spill remediation.
  • Students will also offer another alternative to oil spill remediation, possibly in relation to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill of 2010.

Containment and Skimming

  • Booms
    • hair & pantyhose
    • In harbors and other sheltered waters, the lightweight vinyl-coated polyester or nylon boom works just fine. In choppy saltwater, the rate of effectiveness is 10 percent at best, experts say.
    • "In open turbulent water, you can't catch the oil," said Robert Bea, a former oil tanker captain turned professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California at Berkeley. "There is intense wave action out there most of the time. To expect that you can trap oil on the surface in open water conditions, I'd say, 'Prove it.' "



In-Situ Burning

Peat Moss


  • The bioremediation technique being used in the test involves adding fertilizers to enhance the growth of bacteria naturally present in the environment. These bacteria naturally degrade certain of the toxic hydrocarbons in oil. Bacterial growth can be increased by applying fertilizers, which increase the availability of nitrogen and phosphorus, the nutrients bacteria need to utilize hydrocarbons as a food source.
  • http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/valdez/01.htm


    • Resnick’s inventions are being used at the Deepwater Horizon site. They use a technology known as PRP/WAPED (Petroleum Remediation Product and Water Pollution Eradication Device), which consists of microscopic balls of beeswax that contain pseudomonad bacteria and range in size from 0.25 to 0.65 micrometers. The bacteria eat the hydrocarbon compounds found in crude oil, and they can be used in ecologically sensitive areas where conventional cleanup methods won’t work.
    • http://www.cnbc.com/id/37593652/17_Ways_To_Clean_Up_The_Gulf_Oil_Spill?slide=17

Control Burning

  • brief description
  • source