The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has increased the interest in technology in oil spills, cleanups and remediation.
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is expected to present challenges to every person in the region whose livelihood or operations depend on access to clean water and air.While the obvious presence of crude oil floating on the surface appears to have diminished, the concern that the bulk of the oil is still lurking beneath the surface, perhaps dispersed into tiny droplets, introduces new challenges. Reports of water sheens and the apparent presence of toxic decomposition products do not bode well for the future of the area.
Every user of the Gulf's water, be it for aquiculture, cooling, aquariums, etc., must now be prepared for the potential problems brought on by the sudden onset of contamination. At the same time, the breakdown of the oil and its dissolution may introduce toxic chemicals and aromatics such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene (BTEX) and other volatile compounds that have the potential to pollute both the water and the air. Oil-contaminated sand dumped in landfills has the potential to break down and pollute groundwater.