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Title: Helping nature clean up oil spills

Abstract

Oil spills are nothing new. In fact, for millions of years crude oil has been seeping up to the Earth`s surface, and for all that time Mother Nature has been on the job with microbes, or bacteria, to harmlessly convert the oil to water and carbon dioxide gas. Not all bacteria are bad. True, some can make us sick, however, the good ones help us bake bread, brew beer, and even clean up oil spills by a process known as biodegradation. Oil and bacteria don`t easily get together because oil and water don`t mix and bacteria prefer to stay in water. After some oil tankers spills in the English Channel 25 years ago, major oil companies (Arco, BP, Exxon, and others) developed oil dispersant products-specialized chemicals that make oils and sea water mix. The simplest examples of similar wetting agents are soaps and detergents. Now, thanks to dispersants, the natural bacteria at sea can easily get to the oil and the normally slow biodegradation process goes rather quickly.

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Petro-Green, Inc., Dallas, TX (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
525848
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Fueloil and Oil Heat with Air Conditioning; Journal Volume: 55; Journal Issue: 10; Other Information: PBD: Nov 1996
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
02 PETROLEUM; OIL SPILLS; CLEANING; PETROLEUM; BIODEGRADATION; POLLUTION; SURFACTANTS; BACTERIA

Citation Formats

Paddock, A. Helping nature clean up oil spills. United States: N. p., 1996. Web.
Paddock, A. Helping nature clean up oil spills. United States.
Paddock, A. Fri . "Helping nature clean up oil spills". United States.
@article{osti_525848,
title = {Helping nature clean up oil spills},
author = {Paddock, A.},
abstractNote = {Oil spills are nothing new. In fact, for millions of years crude oil has been seeping up to the Earth`s surface, and for all that time Mother Nature has been on the job with microbes, or bacteria, to harmlessly convert the oil to water and carbon dioxide gas. Not all bacteria are bad. True, some can make us sick, however, the good ones help us bake bread, brew beer, and even clean up oil spills by a process known as biodegradation. Oil and bacteria don`t easily get together because oil and water don`t mix and bacteria prefer to stay in water. After some oil tankers spills in the English Channel 25 years ago, major oil companies (Arco, BP, Exxon, and others) developed oil dispersant products-specialized chemicals that make oils and sea water mix. The simplest examples of similar wetting agents are soaps and detergents. Now, thanks to dispersants, the natural bacteria at sea can easily get to the oil and the normally slow biodegradation process goes rather quickly.},
doi = {},
journal = {Fueloil and Oil Heat with Air Conditioning},
number = 10,
volume = 55,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Nov 01 00:00:00 EST 1996},
month = {Fri Nov 01 00:00:00 EST 1996}
}