What happens to oil when it is biologically degraded in the ocean?

Biodegradation: Sea water contains a range of micro-organisms or microbes that can partially or completely degrade oil to water soluble compounds and eventually to carbon dioxide and water.

Does oil biodegrade in the ocean?

Most of the hydrocarbons in dispersed oil are degraded in aerobic marine waters with a half-life of days to months. In contrast, oil that reaches shorelines is likely to be too concentrated, have lower levels of nutrients, and have a far longer residence time in the environment.

What are three factors that affect biodegradation?

A number of factors determine the rate at which this degradation of organic compounds occurs. Factors include light, water, oxygen and temperature.

How does water affect biodegradation?

Water is essential for biodegradation. To prevent the biodegradation of cereal grains in storage, they must be kept dry. Foods such as bread or fruit will support the growth of mold if the moisture level is high enough.

What happens when oil goes in the ocean?

When exposed to oil, adult fish may experience reduced growth, enlarged livers, changes in heart and respiration rates, fin erosion, and reproduction impairment. Fish eggs and larvae can be especially sensitive to lethal and sublethal impacts.

What is oil biodegradation?

During biodegradation, microbial organisms metabolize petroleum, degrading the hydrocarbon content. The process can take more or less time depending on the amount of type and amount of bacteria, the reservoir or ecosystem in which the bacteria are found, and the amount of oxygen present.

How long does it take for oil to biodegrade?

Previous studies had found that small droplets of oil decay within a year of washing ashore, broken down by sand-dwelling microbes. But larger, golf ball-sized clumps of oil — the most common size found along Gulf Coast beaches — take roughly three decades to decompose entirely, the new study found.

What are the factors affecting oil degradation?

There are many factors contributing to the oil degradation, including physical-chemical factors, such as the environmental pH, organic matter content, temperature, and the oil chemical composition, as well as biological factors, such as the microbial distribution in the environment, physiological and metabolic.

What factors affect the rate of biodegradation?

Biodegradation rates are known to be affected by such factors as the availability of inorganic nutrients, the presence of multiple substrates, the redox environment, substrate concentration, temperature, water activity, and the adaptive response of the microorganisms (7-9).

What is the result of biodegradation?

Biodegradation is the degradation of the materials into environmentally acceptable products such as water, carbon dioxide, and biomass by the action of naturally available microorganisms under normal environmental conditions.

How does substrate concentration affect biodegradation?

2, the biodegrading capability increased with substrate concentrations when the concentrations were low. Nevertheless, higher degradation rates could not be further achieved by continuing the increase of substrate concentra- tions.

How does oil affect water quality?

Oil spills are contaminating the world’s water sources because it makes water unconsumable. It contaminates parts of the ocean and can seep into the clean water supply that humans and other species need in order to survive. It can seep into rivers, lakes and other bodies of water naturally connected to the ocean.