If an oil spill is reacted to quickly, a cleanup crew may choose “containment and skimming” to clean up the oil. This method uses buoyant booms that float on the water an Long, buoyant booms which float on the water to contain the oil and prevent it from further spreading, allowing a cleanup crew to skim oil from the surface. Sorbents may also be used; sorbents are large sponges that absorb the oil from the water. Dispersants, or chemicals that break down oil quickly, are also used, as are fertilizers such as phosphorus and nitrogen. The fertilizers foster the growth of microorganisms, which break down the oil into natural components such as fatty acids and carbon dioxide.
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