EnSolve Biosystems, a leader in maritime bioremediation technology, has introduced a new line of products designed to facilitate cleanup of oil from shorelines, beaches, marshes and open waters.
The EnSolve ShoreClean products are designed to release concentrated levels of naturally occurring oil-degrading microbes and nutrients into the waters and beaches along the contaminated shoreline. The microbes break down the particles of oil, converting it to water and trace amounts of carbon dioxide.
“Ever since we learned of the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April, our research teams have worked tirelessly to develop products that can have an immediate, positive effect on the effort to decontaminate the oil-soaked waters that threaten the Gulf Coast,” said Dr. Jason Caplan, CEO of EnSolve. “The ShoreClean products are derived from our proven U.S. Coast Guard-approved bioremediation technology, which has been successfully used for more than 10 years to treat ships’ oily bilge water, meeting the most stringent international clean-water standards.”
The ShoreClean products include booms and bags, which are filled with oil-consuming microbes and slow-release nutrients. When properly deployed, wave action releases the microbes and nutrients to stimulate oil degradation in the environment. The floating booms contain a natural oleophilic and hydrophobic sorbent capable of absorbing eight times its weight in oil. The microbes inside the booms break down the absorbed oil, permitting the boom to continue soaking up more oil. The bags are anchored on the beach along the tidal line and are effective for two to four weeks, after which they can easily be replaced.
“The microbes are identical to those that live naturally in the oceans of the world,” said Caplan. “They are non-pathogenic, pose no threat to workers handling the products and have no adverse affect on the environment. There are no harmful byproducts from the process.”
Caplan noted that bioremediation techniques were utilized effectively in combating the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. EnSolve’s engineers have worked to enhance the process and speed up the oil removal.