Bioremediation And Chemical Remediation On The Environment

1687 Words 7 Pages
An oil spill is when liquid petroleum hydrocarbon is released into the environment. Oil spills have detrimental effects on the environment and the economy. Oil spills can potentially cost billions of dollars. There are multiple ways in which oil spills can be cleaned in a safe and cost efficient way. One way is bioremediation, which is the use of microorganisms to break down pollutants. Another effective way is chemical remediation, which is the use of chemicals to extract pollutants from an environment. In this paper, I will discuss the beneficial attributes of bioremediation and chemical remediation in the oil spill clean up process. Oil is one of the major pollutants in the environment, especially for ocean pollution. Barges, tankers, …show more content…
Scientists cannot accurately predict that the microorganisms are consuming as much as anticipated. In addition, “…biodegradation does not remove all of the hydrocarbons in crude oil—some compounds are recalcitrant to microbial attack such as higher-molecular-weight PAHs and the polars” (Atlas & Bragg, 2008, p. 2). Lastly, scientists may not be able to find a native organism that can remediate effectively, or a foreign one that can cause little change to the environment. Scientists may have to genetically engineer native bacteria. This can be time consuming and quite difficult to …show more content…
It is far less time consuming than bioremediation and scientists have better control when using chemical remediation. Chemical reactions always produce the same response. Therefore, scientists can easily monitor how much chemicals are being placed into the environment and how much oil is being broken down (Environmental Protection Agency, 1998).
On the other hand, chemical remediation has its downfalls. Chemicals can alter the composition of the environment, especially in the ocean. Chemicals can mix with various molecules in the ocean water leading to changes in the chemical makeup of the environment. Such changes can disrupt the food chain. In addition, chemicals are very expensive (Environmental Protection Agency, 1998). As mentioned earlier, BP spent nearly $15 billion on chemical remediation for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (Reed, Krauss, 2015) This is a huge deficit for a company, which can severely affect their viability.
For the Gulf of Mexico clean up, the chemical known as Corexit was the most prevalent form of remediation used. Recent studies have shown that this may have done more harm than help. BP claimed that Corexit removed the oil but it actually broke the oil down and made it sink to the bottom of the gulf. The oil had been broken down into such a minute form that it has made the remediating process much harder. Scientists are currently searching for the next step. (State of the Nation,

Related Documents