Research Question

Three Energy Efficient Ways To Clean Up An Oil Spill


            When the BP oil spill happened in June of 2010, BP received nearly 10,000 suggestions on how to clean up the spill. Within these 10,000 ideas, BP was considering around 700 of them. However, not all of them were energy efficient. For example, controlled burns impacted the air because of the amount of smoke the burns released (Toscano & Bukszpan, 2010). Now, three years later, researchers have found that there are more energy efficient ways to clean up oil spills.

One energy efficient way to clean up an oil spill is the oil-eating mushroom. This mushroom is an organic absorbent. It cleans up oil spills naturally by absorbing the toxins in the environment. The process is called “bioremediation” (Hernandez, JL). Bioremediation is “the use of biological agents, such as bacteria or plants, to remove or neutralize contaminants, as in polluted soil or water.” (The Free Dictionary, ND). This method is a cheap and an all natural way to clean up oil spills.

Another energy efficient way to clean up oil is using peat moss. Peat moss is a sponge like cushion that does not let water in. It forms in upland watercourses and it is natural soil erosion. When it is used for an oil spill cleanup, it only collects oil. The oil then sits on the surface in clumps, which makes it easy for people to skim the moss and oil out of the water (Hernandez, 2013).

Lastly, another energy efficient way to clean up oil spills is beeswax. Beeswax contains hydrocarbons that essentially “eat” the oil. When the beeswax has consumed the max amount it can eat, it explodes. It then releases carbon dioxide, water, and enzymes, which are all good for sea life. This is a natural and biodegradable product (Hernandez, 2013).

All three of these methods could have been used with the BP oils spill. Each of them are natural and cheap was is a to clean up the oil without harming the environment.



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