3rd Edition

The Basics of Oil Spill Cleanup

By Merv Fingas Copyright 2013
    286 Pages 184 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Reflecting the rapid progress in cleanup technology since the previous edition, this revised and expanded third edition of The Basics of Oil Spill Cleanup covers current cleanup techniques, how oil spills are measured and detected, and the properties of the oil and its long-term fate in the environment. It also deals with why, how often, and where oil spills occur as well as the chemical composition and physical properties of various oil types.

    The chapters describe surface and remote sensing technologies used to detect and track oil slicks, and methods to contain oil on water (booms and ancillary equipment) and recover oil from the water surface (skimmers, sorbents, and manual recovery). The author discusses the use of pumps, in-situ burning, and chemical agents, such as dispersants, for oil removal. He also addresses oil-contaminated shorelines and the effects and behavior of oil on different ecosystems and the various organisms within them. Written for the general public as well as those directly involved with oil spill cleanup, this edition provides broad, up-to-date knowledge of the cleanup and control of spills.

    Oil Spills: Why Do They Happen and How Often?
    How Often Do Spills Occur?
    Some Oil Spill Facts

    Response to Oil Spills
    Oil Spill Contingency Plans
    Communication Systems
    Oil Spill Cooperatives
    Private and Government Response Organizations
    Cost Recovery

    Types of Oil and Their Properties
    The Composition of Oil
    Properties of Oil
    Correlation between Properties

    Behavior of Oil in the Environment
    The Importance of Behavior and Fate
    An Overview of Weathering
    Movement of Oil and Oil Spill Modeling

    Analysis, Detection, and Remote Sensing of Oil Spills
    The Importance of Analytical and Detection Technologies
    Sampling and Laboratory Analysis
    Field Analysis
    Detection and Surveillance
    Remote Sensing

    Containment on Water
    Types of Booms and Their Construction
    Uses of Booms
    Boom Failures
    Tow Forces
    Ancillary Equipment
    Sorbent Booms and Barriers
    Special Purpose Booms

    Oil Recovery on Water
    Manual Recovery

    Separation, Pumping, Decontamination, and Disposal
    Temporary Storage

    Spill-Treating Agents
    Surface-Washing Agents
    Emulsion Breakers and Inhibitors
    Recovery Enhancers
    Sinking Agents
    Biodegradation Agents

    In-Situ Burning
    Ignition and What Will Burn
    Burn Efficiency and Rates
    Use of Containment
    Emissions from Burning Oil

    Shoreline Cleanup and Restoration
    Behavior of Oil on Shorelines
    Environmental Effects of Oil on Shorelines
    Types of Shorelines and Their Sensitivity to Oil
    Shoreline Countermeasures Assessment Technique
    Shoreline Protection Measures
    Cleanup Methods

    Oil Spills on Land
    Behavior of Oil on Land
    Movement of Oil on Land Surface
    Movement of Oil in the Subsurface
    Habitats and Ecosystems
    Cleanup of Surface Spills
    Cleanup of Subsurface Spills

    Effects of Oil Spills on the Environment
    Biological Effects
    Aquatic Environments
    Damage Assessment
    Net Environmental Benefits


    Reading for Further Information



    Merv Fingas, M.Sc., MBA, Ph.D., has worked for more than 38 years in the field of oil spill technology. He was chief of Environment Canada’s Environmental Emergencies Technology Centre in Ottawa for over 30 years. He has conducted research in spill dynamics and behavior, and studies of spill treating agents, in-situ burning of oil, and oil spill chemistry and analysis. Dr. Fingas has authored or coauthored more than 800 technical reports and papers on various aspects of oil or chemical research. These include topics such as oil emulsion formation, oil evaporation, treating agent testing and use, studies of oil analysis and fingerprinting, in-situ burning of oil, oil spill remote sensing, and personal protection equipment. This is his seventh book.

    "The Basics of Oil Spill Cleanup is a classical reference in the field. This third edition has been revised and expanded reflecting the rapid progress in clean-up technology and the techniques available for mitigating the effects of oil spills."
    —International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry, December 2014

    "This book is a welcomed update of the second edition ... The book provides an excellent introduction for newcomers to the field of oil spills. The book is well-written for the broad audience for which it is intended and would be very useful as a required or recommended textbook for introductory oil spill courses."
    —Dr. Carl E. Brown, Environment Canada

    "A well written book in which the subject matter is addressed in a comprehensive way and well organized for easy reference. ... The text is complemented by excellent photographs, diagrams and tables. Most importantly, the new edition is fully up-to-date, reflecting the latest developments in our knowledge of oil spill clean-up and the techniques available for mitigating the effects of oil spills."
    —John McMurtrie, Secretary, International Spill Control Organization

    Praise for Previous Editions

    "… presents a practical perspective and overview in dealing with on-and off-shore oil spills that can potentially affect sensitive coastal environments and habitats … Certainly when oil spills occur, notably in a highly visible, sensitive and/or media concentrated area, such a book provides a good synopses as to the methods employed when dealing with such circumstances."
    —Stephen M. Testa, Testa Environmental Corporation