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Bioremediation on Deep Horizon Oil Spill
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Bioremediation on Deep Horizon Oil Spill






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  • http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2010/06/gulf-oil-spill-sea-turtle-swims-through-oil-to-nest-on-alabama-beach.html
  • http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/pictures/2010/06/04/gulf-of-mexico-oil-spill-shocking-pictures-of-animals-that-have-suffered-as-a-result-of-the-spill-115875-22309286/
  • Ran into rocks thus oil spill How they test if the areas have/have not recovered?Any method they use ?Insitu/exsitu?
  • Damage has been done, the rest is up to nature to recover by iteself??
  • 2nd point: therefore ideal for use in oil spill
  • Both method are still being research….3rd point: help enhance the biodegradation by bacteria

Bioremediation on Deep Horizon Oil Spill Bioremediation on Deep Horizon Oil Spill Presentation Transcript

  • Bioremediation of Deepwater horizon oil spill
  • b
  • Deepwater Horizon oil spill
    Oil spill on the gulf of Mexico on April 20 2010
    It is the largest marine oil spill in the history
    780 000 000L of crude oil were release to the sea
    The oil spill last for 3 months
  • How did it happen?
    Explosion happen when drilling unit tries to drill a new well
    A pressure apparently surged and could not be controlled
    Methane gas from the well under high pressure shoot all the way up and out of the drill column, expanded on the platform, and then ignited and explode
  • Environmental impact
  • Impact on animals
    Oil is either:
     Dispersed into top layer of the ocean (aquatic wildlife directly subjected to oil toxicity and die off)
     Remains on the surface of the ocean
     On to coastal areas (oil clumps together to form tar balls which can be washed up onto coastal areas and affect the wildlife)
  • Oil can affect an organism via:
    Exposure (direct contact with the skin)
     Especially birds and mammals
     Rely on their outer coats for the ability to float and provide warmth.
     Drowning, hypothermia and smothering.
  • Oil can affect an organism via:
    Ingestion and/or inhalation
     Once Ingested or inhaled hydrocarbon, the hydrocarbon travels into the bloodstreams via respiratory tracts
     Mammals and birds: causing irritation and drowsiness
     Smaller organisms like plankton and larvae: abnormal reproduction and development
  • Sea turtles
    Gulf of Mexico is home to 5 species of sea turtles, 4 has been listed endangered
    Oil spill occur during turtles nesting season
    Oil affect mature female hatching success rate
    Hatchlings potentially face direct oil exposure
    Over 6000 sea turtles have been affected !!!
  • Dolphins
    Swimming in oiled water
    Inhale toxic chemicals from oil when going to the surface for air.
    Eye and skin lesions from continuous exposure to oil
    Decreased body mass due to restricted diet
    Over 390 dolphins are affected !!!
  • Birds
    Slick makes the water look calm which cause birds to dive into oil
    Coated with oil thus unable the bird to regulate their temperature
    Cause hyperthermia and eventually death.
    Over than 82000 birds are affected !!!
  • Environmental fate of oil in gulf
    Common to find oil in oil rich environment like gulf, thus hydrocarbon can be taken care of by many natural, physical and biological process
  • Cleaned up via natural means
    Oil dispersion and evaporation
     BP oil spill higher % of lighter hydrocarbon
     24% total oil spilled evaporated
    Hydrocarbon water soluble compounds (Toxic!)
    • Native microbes are use to environment containing hydrocarbon and use it as energy source
    • More oil content = more microbes community = higher rate of biodegradation
     25% oil spilled settled in sea floor
    UV Ray
  • Cleaned up via human effort
  • Cleaned up via human effort
     Separate surface oil and collect them
  • Cleaned up via human effort
    • Use of vacuum to draw out top layer of oil
     Not efficient
  • Cleaned up via human effort
    Absorb oil onto their surface
    Made of plastic or clay
  • Cleaned up via human effort
    In-situ burning
     Ignite oil
     Very efficient
     Hydrocarbon burn and converted to toxic compounds which are carcinogenic
     Water pollution turns into air pollution
  • Cleaned up via human effort
    Chemical Dispersants
    • Break down hydrocarbon into smaller droplets thus enhance biodegradation
     Chemical itself can be more toxic than oil
  • Cleaned up via human effort
     Methods mentioned above are aggressive clean up effort which lead to more environmental problems
     Case study: Amoco Cadiz (oil tanker)
    • Released tones of heavy crude oil into coast line
    • Spill site too large to be treated
    • Only economical area treated with detergents
    • Untreated coastal areas fully recovered within 5 years
    • Treated areas are not fully recovered even after 30 years
  • What is Bioremediation?
     It is the use of microorganism to degrade chemical pollutants (especially hydrocarbon)
     Least environmental impact
     Highest efficiency
     Many forms of bioremediation using different microorganism
  • Bioremediation 1: using indigenous microbial population
     Oil eating microbes are native microbes found in the gulf
     Adapted well to environment with hydrocarbon as they utilize it for energy source
     Scientist first chosen oil eating microbes for bioremediation in gulf spill
    But many challenges faced
  • Challenges of using indigenous microbial population
    Strained time frame
    Oil eating microbes are useful but speed of degradation is not as effective
     Attempt 1: genetically modified microbes
    • To enhance the ability of microbes to break down hydrocarbon.
    • But no man made microbes are more effective than natural ones
    • Because hydrocarbon is complex = need complex communities of microbes to break them down
    • Thus man made microbes cannot compete with the complex communities which adapted well to environment
    • Attempt 2: chemical dispersants
    • Toxic to wildlife
  • Challenges of using indigenous microbial population
    Oxygen depletion
    • Oil spill = increase hydrocarbon = increase population of oil eating microbes = more oxygen needed = depletion of oxygen = creating more dead zones
    • Many creature did not die due to oil but because lack of oxygen and nutrients
    1. Thus create more environmental ill effect
    2. Further slowing rate of recovery
    3. To mix sufficient oxygen into gulf, magnitude of scale of a hurricane is needed
  • Challenges of using indigenous microbial population
     High microbes population = not enough nutrients in sea to feed bacteria growth
     Add nutrients will only magnified problems
  • Challenges of using indigenous microbial population
    Temperature of the sea
    • Near surface of the water = warmer water = optimum temperature = highest metabolism rate in microbes = high rate of biodegradation
    • However deeper down the sea = decrease in temperature = decrease in metabolism = slow biodegradation
     Problem:
    1. Oil sunk 800-1400m deep
  • Challenges of using indigenous microbial population
    Anaerobic condition in deep ocean sea floor
    • 25% of oil spilled are heavy sediments that sink to the sea floor forming tarry carpet which are harder to degrade
    • Deep down into the sea = no oxygen therefore only anaerobes strive
     Problem:
    1. Whatever is consumed by the aerobes in 10 days = done by anaerobes in 1 years
  • Successful Bioremediation in Gulf spill
  • Using arch microbes
     A less toxic dispersal agent
     A strain of naturally-occurring oxygen producing microbes that break down oil without using toxins
     Consume oil without damaging the environment.
     Not genetically engineered and help add more oxygen to water, thus help to repair dead zone and sustain ocean life
  • Using arch microbes
     Shown to have 99.97% effectiveness during a clean up effort in Louisiana
     It works underwater thus able to restore dead zone link to deep sea oil plumes
     More effective compared to other microbial product available
  • Using PRP
     The world standard for oil-spill clean up
     Consists of microscopic, hollow balls of beeswax which contain nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium)
  • Using PRP
    • PRP® is a non-toxic, 100% all natural product
    • Made of beeswax
  • Using PRP
    • PRP® is oleophilic (attracts oil)
    • Is 18% hydrocarbon so absorbs oil and rejects water
    • Can absorb up to 20 times its own weight
    • When hydrocarbon is in contact with PRP, the encapsulating wax breaks down forming a hydrocarbon and wax matrix.
    • Simultaneously, indigenous microbes feed off of the nutrients and breakdown the hydrocarbons.
  • Using PRP
    • PRP® is hydrophobic (floats)
    • Water soluble detergents used to treat spill are high in nutrients and disperse rapidly into water column result in no control
    • Causing rapid growth of indigenous population which depletes oxygen in the sea
    • Even though PRP contains nutrients, but it stay floated. Thus reduce potential for algae blooms
  • Using PRP
    • PRP® maximizes hydrocarbon degradation
    • Nutrients in the PRP encourage the microbes to eat and flourish till oil is gone
    • The matrix will float on the surface of the water creating an ideal condition for biodegradation to take place as it allow PRP to obtain moisture and gain oxygen from ambient air
    • The only biological product that contains and remediates hydrocarbons in a microenvironment on water's surface
  • Using PRP
    • PRP® is effective in sensitive areas where labor intensive techniques are unproductive
    • PRP repels water and stay floated. Thus able to maintain its position on water surface
    • Enhancing the opportunity for product to come in contact with floating hydrocarbon
    • It also allows product to impenetrable areas where fugitive hydrocarbons are present.
  • Using PRP
     PRP® can be allowed to degrade in-situ or may be recovered for land remediation, land filling or recycling
    • PRP that does not have contact with hydrocarbons is inert and will eventually degrade and slowly release the nutrients
    • Naturally occurring microbes will survive a short time on the nutrients and wax encapsulating material
    • With the absence of a food source, the microbes will not survive long.
  • Using PRP
    • Unlike other booms which soak up oil and have to be dump
    • These bio booms degrade the oil and it disappears with the wax. Thus, no disposal is needed.
  • Using PRP
    • PRP® minimizes impacts to the environment
    • From the factor mentioned above, PRP produce the least environmental impact
  • Future Bioremediation for Gulf oil spill cleanup
  • Using cotton
     Cotton waste fibres not only able to absorb and hold oil, but they also have microbes that consume oil from the marine environment and bioremediate the oil into stable waste
  • Using cotton
    • Extremely effective
    • Able to soak forty times their weight of oil and up to eighty times with chemical modifications
  • Using cotton
    • Cotton fibres are biodegradable; they have the ability to degrade naturally without causing any harm to environment
     Recyclable
    • The cotton used can be cleaned and then reused for soaking up more oil
    • However, the absorption of cotton decreases with increasing numbers of use
  • Using fungi
     Specialize in breaking indigestible substances down into smaller particles
     Secrete acids and enzymes that aid in the decomposition of complex organic contaminants (breaking apart hydrocarbons).
     For example, when diesel oil-contaminated soil is inoculated with strains of oyster mycelia, the soil loses its toxicity in just 8 weeks.
  • Using fungi
     The mushrooms are free of petroleum products after digesting them
     The oyster mushrooms not only broke down oil, but also allowed other life forms to thrive thus able to restore habitat
     Cheap and sustainable
  • Using fungi
    • Oyster mushroom in seawater:
    • Grow in saltwater, at a rate of 75 percent, which is still extremely good considering the fast growth rate of oyster mushrooms.
    • The mushrooms could float cheaply on hemp “mycobooms”
    • The entire mycoboom is also entirely biodegradable so there is no extra cleanup involved
  • Using fungi
    • There are no worries in finding sufficient oyster mushrooms to provide the mycelia since it is native to the Gulf Coast and is nontoxic
    • The native strains of oyster mushrooms can be amplified to be used specifically in areas of the Gulf that are being affected by the oil spill
    • The mushrooms, as they mature, set the stage for bacteria. As the straw biodegrades, it also produces CO2, allowing bacterial growth on the mycelia and mushrooms, further degrading the hydrocarbons
  • Conclusion
    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history.
    It has employed Bioremediation as part of its cleanup efforts which has shown to be effective and has several benefits.
    Benefits include lower cost and reducing environmental impacts, creating a better, cleaner environment.
    Bioremediation has starting to gain recognition and are more known to the public. There has been more research and the development of Bioremediation.
    It is important to create a sustainable future in this area since it is proven to have much more advantages as compared to other methods.
  • Conclusion
    Although Bioremediation is able to deal with intractable environmental problems, there are still certain challenges faced in application of it.
    It is important for us to learn and understand how the microorganisms interact with different environments.
    With increasing understanding, only will the efficiency and applicability of Bioremediation grow.