Chemical Engineering and Oil Pollution

Categories: Oil Spill

Chemical engineering is a branch of engineering that uses principles of chemistry, physics, mathematics, biology, and economics to efficiently use, produce, design, transport and transform energy and materials. The work of chemical engineers can range from the utilization of nanotechnology and nanomaterials in the laboratory to large-scale industrial processes that convert chemicals, raw materials, living cells, microorganisms, and energy into useful forms and products. Environmental engineering is one the most popular, complex and fast-growing disciplines in engineering. The scope of environment includes issues from public health, aesthetics, and impact of all development activities, pollution control legislation, standards, regulations, guidelines and their enforcement.

The major issues in Oman is the oil pollution. Marine pollution is defined as any quantitative or qualitative change in the chemical, physical or life characteristics of elements of the marine environment above the capacity of the seas to absorb in dealing with them without risks. This pollution results in damage to human life or wealth or the ability of environmental systems to produce.

Sources of pollution of the marine environment with oil. There are many sources of marine pollution with oil, the most important of which are the following:

  1. Marine accidents, the most important of which are oil tankers colliding with coral reefs or with each other or drowning them.
  2. Accidents that occur during drilling and exploration operations in seas and oceans.
  3. Oil spills into the sea during loading and unloading operations.
  4. Crude oil spills due to corrosion accidents in the tanker's metal body.
  5. Dumping water for washing tanks by tankers after unloading them at sea.

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  6. Oil leakage from oil tankers due to accidents caused by offshore oil wells adjacent to shores.

Types of the impact of oil pollution on the marine environment The effects of oil pollution on the marine environment vary, and they are summarized as follows:

  1. The impact of oil pollution on fishing operations and fish One of the manifestations of the impact of oil pollution is the decrease in the productivity of fisheries, which is due to a decrease in vital processes such as growth or may be due to the reluctance of people to buy fish for fear of the dangers of pollution, or that the fishermen themselves stop fishing in the polluted areas for fear Their equipment is damaged, which increases the food deficiency.
  2. The impact of oil pollution on phytoplankton and algae. The phytoplankton is primarily responsible for stabilizing energy in the marine environment (by photosynthesis) and these phylacters are the first link of the marine food chain, where marine animals feed directly or indirectly. Recent studies have shown to measure the concentrations of crude oil needed for the occurrence of mortality or prevent cell division in several types of phytoplankton, and it was found that the concentration that leads to mortality ranges between 10,000 – 1.0ml / liter and that the delay or interruption of cell division occurs at a concentration between 10,000 – 1.0 ml / l, while the impact of oil pollution is less on other organisms due to its ability to recover its viability after some time.
  3. Influencing mollusks. Mollusks (like oysters) suffer enormous deaths when oil spills occur and reach the Sahel.
  4. The effect on crustaceans The crustacean group (such as shrimp and cancer) does not exist under the direct influence of leaked oil pollutants such as its predecessors (mollusks and immovable crustaceans), because this group has the ability to move which makes it more able to avoid exposure to high concentrations of oil except for their young and larvae And her eggs, which can not escape leading to cases of great death..

Environmental factors

Air temperature and the sun are two of these factors but to assess heat exposure and understand the effects of the environment on a person’s body all the important elements need to be taken into consideration. The section below highlights each of the most important environmental factors in heat stress:

Air Temperature (or Dry Bulb measured in degrees C)

Air temperature is one of the factors that cause a person’s body to heat up. If the air is hotter than the body temperature (37 oC) the body will gain heat and if the air is cooler than the body it will lose heat to the environment. Dry bulb temperature is measured with a normal thermometer and is read off the scale on the thermometer after it has been given time to stabilize in the environment. The body loses or gains 12% of the heat exchange from the air temperature in contact with the skin.

Humidity and Evaporation (or Wet Bulb measured in degrees C)

Sweating is the way a person’s body cools down when it is hot. When sweat evaporates from the skin it takes heat with it and cools the body down. The evaporation of sweat depends on the humidity levels of the air. At a high humidity level e.g.: 80%, evaporation is very slow and heat loss from the body is less efficient so the body takes longer to cool down. At low humidity evaporation is fast and body cooling is good. We measure the evaporation rate in the air by using a wet-bulb thermometer which measures the rate of evaporation and cooling ability of the air. It is a thermometer that has a wet cotton wick around the base and as the water evaporates it cools the thermometer down giving us the wet-bulb temperature. Sweating is a very important process and if a person does not drink enough sweating will be reduced and stop and the body will overheat resulting in heat illness and even death.

 Environmental law is the collection of laws, regulations, agreements and common law that governs how humans interact with their environment. The purpose of environmental law is to protect the environment and create rules for how people can use natural resources. Environmental laws not only aim to protect the environment from harm, but they also determine who can use natural resources and on what terms. Laws may regulate pollution, the use of natural resources, forest protection, mineral harvesting and animal and fish populations. The desire for a green and pollution-free environment in Oman grows every year, as the world seeks to tackle the ill effects of global warming and other environmental concerns. As the world gears up to combat this threat, the Sultanate of Oman has put a series of laws in place to protect its land and territorial waters against pollution. The protection of habitats has been achieved through the environmental permit system implemented under Sultani Decree 10/82 (now replaced by Sultani Decree 114/01).

The Sultanate has always sought to strike a balance between the needs of development and the environment. Industrial construction projects must be reviewed and certified by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (the “MOECA”) before commencement. When reviewing a proposed construction project, the MOECA examines the possibility of damage to the environment and ensures that all measures have been taken to minimize pollution from waste products prior to giving its approval. 

As a chemical engineer, I can stop environmental pollution resulting from factories by reducing waste and recycling it. The chemical engineer must know the environmental side and how to treat pollution from chemicals produced by the factory.

Environmental sustainability is the rates of renewable resource harvest, pollution creation, and non-renewable resource depletion that can be continued indefinitely. If they cannot be continued indefinitely then they are not sustainable. Environmental sustainability is a theory that pollution and all resources can be made and will allow people to live a good life now and into the future. This an entirely operational possibility and humankind is working to develop it. It is the premise of recycling, antipollution processes, and energy self-sufficiency. This can be done if no expense is spared, and the costs of living can float to support the financial burden caused by such measures. 

 Solar Energy

From roof-top solar panels to massive solar farms that can attain the same generating capacity as a conventional power plant, it is clear that there is a renewable energy revolution happening in the world — and it is powered by the sun. A solar farm can reduce 94% of the emissions that a coal power plant emits. It also eliminates noxious pollutants like sulfur nitrous oxides and mercury which are major contributors to the air pollution responsible for millions of premature deaths every year. Solar technology is getting cheaper and is now cost-competitive or less costly than conventional power generation in many parts of the world.

 Water-efficient fixtures

Many countries in the world are becoming water-stressed and we are beginning to understand that water is not as unlimited as we once believed. In most buildings around the world, essential water usage such as showering, washing hands, and sewage conveyance is unavoidable. However, the amount of water used for these essential services can be drastically reduced by more than 50% with the use of water-saving fittings and fixtures. Some examples of water-efficient fixtures include low-flow taps and showerheads, dual flush toilets and toilet stops. These fixtures can be retrofitted easily and affordably into existing buildings or specified for new building projects.

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Chemical Engineering and Oil Pollution. (2021, Oct 31). Retrieved from

Chemical Engineering and Oil Pollution
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