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Chapter 22:
Oil Spills
Petroleum (or crude oil): A fluid, hydrocarbon-rich mixture mined from certain
geological formations.
oIt is a non-renewable natural resource used mainly as a source of energy.
oIts also used to manufacture a diverse array of petrochemicals, including
synthetic materials such as plastics.
oIt is transported by oceanic tankers and overland pipelines.
oPetroleum refineries cause pollution due to frequent but small spills, and the
routine discharge of wastewater contaminated with hydrocarbons and trace
quantities of metals, sulphides, phenols, and other chemicals.
oSmall-scale dumping of used motor oil and other hydrocarbon wastes causes
pollution as well.
Petroleum and its Refined Products
Hydrocarbons: Molecules composed of hydrogen and carbon only. They can be classified
into 3 groups: aliphatic, alicyclic, and aromatic.
Oil Spills
oIt can be caused by any spillage of petroleum or its refined products.
oThe largest spills involve the discharge of petroleum or bunker fuel to the ocean
from a disabled tanker or drilling platform, to an inland waterway from a barge or
ship, or to land or freshwater from a well blowout or broken pipeline.
oActs of warfare can also cause oil spills.
Marine Oil Spills:
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