Hydrocarbon remediation (or hydrocarbon cleaning) is the process by which hydrocarbon contaminations are removed. Due to the potential negative impacts hydrocarbon contaminations can have on an ecosystem, and even on human life, it is a valuable emergency service. On this page, we will break down everything you need to know about hydrocarbon remediation and when it is done.
What is Hydrocarbon Remediation?
Hydrocarbons are organic compounds which only contain hydrogen and carbon atoms. In certain cases, hydrocarbons can contaminate ecosystems. Or, they can build up and be hard to clean. Typically, common solvents like water simply don’t work for cleaning. Oil, for example, cannot be cleaned up with water. Circumstances like this require a special cleaning service, which we call hydrocarbon remediation.
Is Hydrocarbon Remediation Safe for the Environment?
The hydrocarbon remediation and suppression industry get a lot of flak for the wrong reasons. In reality, hydrocarbon contaminations are the bigger danger to the environment than the processes for cleaning them up! Hydrocarbons have been notorious for killing organisms of all sorts and wrecking ecosystems.
If quick action is not taken using the tools we know work for the job (hydrocarbon remediation), the effects of contamination can quickly ruin global ecosystems without any backlash. However, environmental safety should be taken seriously. This has a lot to do with why we use non-hazardous, water-based, biodegradable products here at Hasten Cleanse.
How is Hydrocarbon Remediation Done?
Hydrocarbon chemicals can cause the natural equilibrium of nature to become interrupted. If hydrocarbon contaminations are not treated quickly, they can escalate into larger problems and even ruin the ecosystem of the contaminated site. Hydrocarbon remediation requires the use of chemicals to remove the contamination from sites. The exact chemical and process which is necessary depend on the exact type and location of the contamination.
Hydrocarbon remediation is usually done in response to an emergency. Due to increasing ingenuity, it has never been easier to handle large hydrocarbon contaminations. Using chemicals suited for removing contaminations, big contaminations can be can be remediated in a safe and sound manner.
When Do We Need Hydrocarbon Remediation Services?
As a general rule of thumb, any instance of hydrocarbon contamination should be taken seriously. It is also important to consider the impacts of inaction, which can be even more harmful than the initial contamination. Hydrocarbon cleaning was necessary, for example, after the Texas oil spill and the Louisiana oil spill.
Then there are also times where hydrocarbon cleaning is necessary to handle air-based contaminations. Or, those which contaminate soil which is supposed to be used for growing crops. There are lots of potential times where hydrocarbon cleanings are necessary.
5 Scenarios for Hydrocarbon Remediation
There are many instances where hydrocarbon cleaning is necessary. Although certain scenarios are more extreme than others, the main idea is to eliminate toxins and help create a healthier world. Here are some of the most common scenarios where people will purchase hydrocarbon remediation services.
1. Massive Oil Spills
Remember the infamous BP Louisiana Oil Spill? This is one of the largest hydrocarbon cleaning tasks the world has ever seen. It has also taught us a lot about large-scale spills and how to best fight them. For the longest time, the best we could do to fight this massive oil spill was simply suppress the problem. Over 1 million gallons of chemical dispersants were used to clean up this mess, along with billions of dollars to pay off legal fees and for the cleaning process itself.
2. Fighting Toxic Organic Vapors
One of the most potentially dangerous hydrocarbon contaminations is air-based. Although oil contaminations can be visually seen and confirmed, air contaminations aren’t always this simple. Especially if it is an odorless and invisible vapor. This is partially why odorless hydrocarbons like natural gas are commonly added along with a safe odor of some sort. To make it easier to detect.
Once the contamination is detected, though, cleaning it up is normally a lot easier. Depending on the severity of the contamination. Propane, for example, is another instance of an organic vapor that can quickly lead to problems if a hydrocarbon cleaning / vapor supression isn’t done right away.
3. Cleaning Contaminated Soil
The soil that we use for growing plants and crops is a direct reflection of the quality of the products we receive. If harmful hydrocarbon compounds find their way into the soil, it needs to be cleaned up right away. Thankfully, this is also usually a lot easier than fighting invisible airborne contaminations.
Using a surfactant, fatty acid, and water, soil contaminations usually can be cleaned up easily within a reasonable time period. After the job is finished, the soil will be prime condition for growing plants. If left untreated, the plants will either not be able to grow or be unhealthy to consume. In other cases, certain plants themselves can even consume toxic hydrocarbons and convert them into safe and non-toxic compounds.
4. Cleaning Hydrocarbon Storage Tanks
As we have tried to explain, it is actually very normal and common for companies to use hydrocarbon compounds in a safe and responsible manner. Tank cleaning is one of the most common reasons people call us for hydrocarbon remediation. These people are unspoken heroes because they also don’t receive news headlines or media attention of any sort for being responsible. Instead, you probably hear stories of the big tragedies which require hydrocarbon cleanings on the news!
This is also why many people think of massive oil spills as the only plausible time to get a hydrocarbon cleaning. Extreme scenarios like oil spills are where a lot of the attention in this industry comes from. In reality, most people buy our services to stay proactive and keep their tanks clean and safe from hydrocarbon build-up.
5. Grease and Sludge Cleanup
Grease and sludge cleanups are another instance where hydrocarbon cleanings are a great idea. As we mentioned, messes like this simply cannot be cleaned efficiently using soap and water. A hydrocarbon cleaning service, on the other hand, will make child’s play out of grease and sludge spills. In reality, messes like this are very easy to clean up. At least if you use the right tools!