Unit 3: Oil Pollution - Cleaning Up Oil Spills

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  • Cleaning up Oil Spills
    • Inflatable booms - limit spread of oil (troughs may be used to collect spilt oil)
    • Skimmers - oil sticks to rotating wheels, scrapers remove and collect oil
    • Absorbent materials e.g. straw - spread over oil as it sticks to it
    • Polymerising chemicals - turns oil into easily collected rubber-like material
    • Chemical dispersants e.g. detergents - break up oil slicks (can be toxic)
    • Hot steam cleans beaches (can kill organisms below the surface)
    • Bioremediation - using bacteria to digest the oil (used in warmer climates)

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