Oil on the waters — Science Information, October 14, 1972
[In the late 1960s], about the perfect technique of cleansing up oil was to place straw on it, then scoop up the oily straw by hand or with pitchforks. Now trade … has devised an arsenal of oil cleanup chemical compounds. Skinny-layer chemical compounds can be utilized to herd oil collectively and to thicken it…. Chemical substances can be found as absorbents too. Nonetheless different chemical compounds … disperse oil all through the water. Different chemical compounds present promise as oil-burning brokers.
Chemical substances are the norm right this moment, however the way forward for oil-cleanup know-how could be microbial. Lately, researchers have proven that soil microbes broke down among the oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill within the Gulf of Mexico (SN On-line: 6/26/15). And electrical micro organism, which channel electrical energy via their threadlike our bodies, might assist by turning oil munchers’ waste into gas for the microbes, scientists reported (SN: 7/16/22 & 7/30/22, p. 24). Microbial mops aren’t but prepared for prime time, so chemical dispersants, fireplace and spongelike sorbents stay key instruments in cleanup kits.