Companies don’t always repair tanks damaged by corrosion in time. Weather can critically damage tanks slowly, over many months or years, or extreme weather can take its toll just about immediately. Whatever the reason, oil spills happen. Thankfully, there are more options for safe and efficient clean up than ever before. What’s new?
Researchers Unveil Eco-Friendly Oil Cleaning Agent
“A plant-based, eco-friendly molecule could be used to clean up the inevitable spills of the future,” Pacific-Standard magazine writes. First, let’s sum up how it’s currently done. In many cases, if and when oil spills into bodies of water, workers will use chemical herders and burn off the oil. While burning may help get rid of the oil, it leaves behind residue — things like silicone compounds and other chemicals. Scientists are still not certain how exactly this impacts the environment; chances are, the lingering presence of harsh chemicals is not good. Now, there’s an alternative.
“A team of researchers from the City College of New York and Tulane University has created an eco-friendly herder from a substance already abundant in the ocean: phytol, an organic compound released from Chlorophyll,” Pacific-Standard magazine continues. Unlike its silicone-based counterpart, the plant-based herder absorbs oil and then naturally breaks down, leaving environments clean and chemical-free, over time.
Preventative Maintenance Is Still Key
While there are more eco-friendly options when it comes to cleaning up oil spills, things like above ground storage tank inspections, internal flexible PVC tank liners, and steel storage tank inspections are still vitally important. It is far easier to prevent a spill before it happens than to clean up after one. Owners should carefully adhere to all inspection and safety standards and carefully research local environments or conditions to assess whether any additional preventative measures, like tank coatings, are necessary.
Oil spill clean up is getting more eco-friendly. Even so, it is always best for companies to prevent spills in the first place — whether that means making certain to repair tanks damaged by corrosion or looking into the many benefits of storage tank coating.