Nanobite remediates boyne river oil spill - Case study


Courtesy of Slick Solutions

On the 6 September 2007, an oil spill from a fuel dump leaks into the beautiful Boyne River, County Louth, Ireland. Local wild fowl and their nesting areas are endangered, as is the local water supply. The coastguards deploy conventional booms to contain the spill but decide against the use of conventional chemical detergents because of the obvious damage to flora and fauna.

Drogheda Borough Council require a treatment that is 100% environmentally safe. They choose Nanobite Liquid, an inert, non-toxic and completely natural bio-remediation fluid to deal with the spill. Nanobite Liquid is a non-intrusive, cost effective remedy for the clean up of hydrocarbons including petrol, diesel, oil, jet fuels, kerosene, lubricating oils, hydraulic oils and crude oils. It was developed by NASA scientists as part of a project to develop 100% natural products to deal with oil spills in the space shuttle.

The timeframe on the Drogheda oil spill project was as follows:

  • September 7 2007, the Coastguard and Fire Department spray Nanobite Liquid onto the surface of the oil spill over the course of three hours.
  • The Nanobite Liquid bonds instantaneously with the oil and in doing so removes the oil slick stain from the surface of the water.
  • By 14:00 on Friday the 7th of September the oil slick stain has been completely removed and the resultant Nanobite Liquid/oil interface is now non toxic and safe to fauna and flora.
  • In the space of two weeks the oil was completely biodegraded, and the operation was deemed a complete success.

Project Results

  • No damage to flora or fauna
  • Nanobite Liquid is 100% efficient
  • Nanobite Liquid 100% effective
  • Nanobite Liquid actively cleans up the spilled oil
  • Nanobite Liquid saves time and money – apply once and leave it to do the work
  • No need for expensive spill disposal and storage at long term toxic oil dumps

How Nanobite Liquid Works

As a completely natural product, Nanobite Liquid adds no ‘foreign bacteria’ to the ecosystem, the like of which are generally found in detergents and chemicals. Unlike other remediation products, Nanobite Liquid requires no special solutions, no special mixing and no waiting period before application. The simple act of spraying Nanobite Liquid to the hydrocarbon spill or leak activates the product and starts growing the indigenous, hydrocarbon degrading microbes.

When a hydrocarbon is spilled on water, it is highly obvious – floating on the surface, a blue green sheen  clearly visible. This makes the testing of the water redundant – there is oil on the surface that needs to be treated.

When applied to an oil spill on water, Nanobite Liquid will not mix with the water and become diluted. Within a minute it attaches to the hydrocarbon, bonding with it and creating a matrix – an agglomerated gel- that remains on the surface and cannot sink, no matter what the weather conditions. By bonding with the hydrocarbon Nanobite liquid does not allow the hydrocarbon to disperse or sink. The motion on the surface of the water creates the optimum conditions for microbes, trapped in the matrix, to start the bio-remediation process. The microbes multiply very rapidly in the matrix – a greenhouse effect – rapidly eating the hydrocarbon until it is all gone. Depending on the type of oil this process can take from 12 to 36 hours.

The matrix with the hydrocarbon inside will continue to work until all of the diesel has been remediated.

Trapped inside the matrix with the diesel are microbes – micro organisms that exist in oxygen in the air – that will eat the diesel. The inside of the matrix is like a greenhouse, which help the microbes to multiple at many times the normal rate, and therefore the process of breaking down the diesel into its constituent parts – CO2 and H2O – will happen at many times the normal rate.

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