Oil Spills

Oil Spills

by Molly

An oil spill is when a well underground leaks into the ocean.  The oil that leaks out of the well pollutes the water and is very sticky, thick, and has a strong odor that also pollutes the air.  A very terrible oil spill happened in the Gulf of Mexico, where a well broke underground and spread clouds of thick oil in the ocean.  The result of this spill involved oil washing up on shore, which caused animals to either swallow or breathe in the odor and die. Sea creatures are also in danger of swallowing the oil and dying, and the oil can get stuck to birds’ wings, which is very hard to clean off, but it also prevents them from flying.

The spill in the Gulf Of Mexico is still not completely cleaned up today, but some solutions scientists have come up with to try to clean the water include skimmers and chemicals, and there have also been sensors invented to detect where the oil is.  The skimmer uses suction devices that suck up the oil from the water, but the skimmer gets clogged very easily from things like debris or too much water.  There has also been an idea of using cleaning detergent, because the detergent absorbs oil and has soy lecithin in it, which keeps oil from sticking to anything!  One idea that I came up with for cleaning oil spills is that scientists could create a machine that has a combination of the skimmer and the detergent chemical.  The machine would have suction cups and also the special detergent would be in filters so it doesn’t clog very easily and the water will come out clean while the oil stays in the filter and would be used for its natural purposes.

References:

http://www.nwf.org/Kids/Ranger-Rick/People-and-Places/Ranger-Rick-on-The-Big-Oil-Spill.aspx
http://news.discovery.com/tech/tech-used-clean-up-oil-spill.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKcxCl2xgUA
http://www.eoearth.org/articles/view/158385/?topic=50366
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAiTywPmgD4
 

Posted December 13, 2011 by sciencesavestheworld