Basics of oil spill cleanup by Fingas M., Charles J.

By Fingas M., Charles J.

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Response to a small spill may be fully operational within hours, whereas for a larger spill, response elements such as shoreline assessment after cleanup may not take place until weeks after the incident. Training A high calibre training program is vital for a good oil spill response program. Response personnel at all levels require training in specific operations and in using equipment for containing and cleaning up spills. To minimize injury during response, general safety training is also crucial.

Meso- or semi-stable emulsions are relatively easy to break down, whereas stable emulsions may take months or years to break down naturally. Emulsion formation also changes the fate of the oil. It has been noted that when oil forms stable or meso-stable emulsions, evaporation slows considerably. Biodegradation also appears to slow down. The dissolution of soluble components from oil may also cease once emulsification has occurred. ©2000 by CRC Press LLC Photo 27 This close-up of a light crude shows natural dispersion in the water as evidenced by the brown-yellow colouring.

Emulsion formation also changes the fate of the oil. It has been noted that when oil forms stable or meso-stable emulsions, evaporation slows considerably. Biodegradation also appears to slow down. The dissolution of soluble components from oil may also cease once emulsification has occurred. ©2000 by CRC Press LLC Photo 27 This close-up of a light crude shows natural dispersion in the water as evidenced by the brown-yellow colouring. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Natural Dispersion Natural dispersion occurs when fine droplets of oil are transferred into the water column by wave action or turbulence.

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