Gulf Oil Spill Case Study

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Problem : April 22 of 2010, approximately 206 million gallons of oil was spilt in the Gulf of Mexico. The Mother Nature Network stated, “Gulf Oil Spill is the officially the largest oil spill in the world history”, (“Mother Nature Network”, Laura Moss). The Gulf Oil Spill started when oil went miles below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, and it exploded. It caused BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig that it killed 11 people. The oil spread for more than 85 days and oiled 572 miles. Along the way, oil killed hundreds of birds and marine lives. Starting from whales, dolphins to small bacterias like copepods. It also impacted humans in negative way.

Separation Technique :
One of the separation technique that BP used to clean the oil spill is
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The chemical dispersant is used because we have to get rid of it anyways before the oil flows further and further. And if the oil reaches the beach area or the fragile coastal lines, the whole sea would be polluted (“One Green Planet”, Madison Montgomery). The chemical dispersant may also prevent mammals like birds from death. Some seabirds die by diving into the sea, because they don’t notice the oil. Using the dispersant is faster than any techniques, and if they act fast enough to spray dispersants, the chemical material called petroleum with a break down the oil quicker than anything. Then after that, we can also prevent birds from …show more content…
The disadvantages are that if we sprinkle the chemical dispersant it can harm all aquatic lives including small bacterias that live hundreds of feet underwater. If this harms organisms who is living deep in the ocean, of course, it will impact people. It depends on type of the oil. If it’s the bunk oil, the oil is very sticky, and heavy, that every marine lives will be killed. Because either they can’t move, or they can’t breath. There is also light oil like diesel, gasoline. They are found to be toxic, and if any marine lives get to touch is physically, they’ll die in few minutes. The scientists found out that more than 50 chemical materials were found in the chemical dispersant. It is harmful to both humans and marine organisms. For example, a chemical material called Propylene Glycol is added, and it may cause skin damage, transient sight injury. One more, chemical material called Sodium mercaptobenzothiazole may cause liver damage, sudden skin burn. When the scientists tested with mice, they died in 3-5 minutes. (“Toxipedia”, Maria Mergel). Some marine lives will be killed by this toxic chemical dispersants, or both chemical dispersant, and dispersed oil droplets are toxic to some marine lives. For example, dispersed oil has been shown to be toxic to fishes life stage, fish egg to adult, and also corals. According to several of laboratories, they have tested a variety of species, and mostly all of them had died of

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