A review of oil cleanup technologies: Booms and skimmers, in situ burning, chemical dispersants and biological mechanisms

Jiang, Zonglin, Environmental Sciences - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Jiang, Zonglin, Arts & Sciences Graduate, University of Virginia

The goal of this research is to do a comparative analysis on oil cleanup technologies which include booms and skimmers, in situ burning, chemical dispersants and biological mechanisms. In this research, the relationship between the performance of each technology and the weather factors will be analyzed. In addition, the research will compare the efficiency, cost, environmental and health concern of these technologies. Finally, the research also presents the lessons learned from large scaled oil spills.
Literature reviews were done in this research. ArcGIS Pro 3.0.2 was also used to produce a map layout of the pattern of oil spills from 1985/3/5 to 2023/1/5 in U.S. waters. The data were from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. There are several major findings of this research. Biological mechanisms have the highest efficiency, booms and skimmers have the highest cost and in situ burning has the highest level of environmental impact.
Moreover, laws and regulations helped reduce the risks of oil spills. A lot of laws were updated and modified after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. For example, in 2012, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement updated the laws on Drilling Safety Rule and Production Safety Regulations were also updated by 2016 which stated the new requirements on operations and safety. Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan also played important roles in reducing the risks of future oil spills.

MA (Master of Arts)
oil cleanup, booms and skimmers, in situ burning, chemical dispersants, archaea, fungi, bacteria
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