Kevin Costner shows off his Oilspill Clean-up Machine

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Kevin Costner shows off his Oilspill Clean-up Machine. Read more about the invention. Some scientists say that, although it may help, this device is not the complete solution to the problem.

- via southernfriedscience

From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by Taproom.

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I wonder if the reaction to Costner's efforts have anything to do with the fact that he's a self-proclaimed conservative? He spends $24 million dollars out of his own pocket to help the environment but the credit he is due is conspicuously absent. One can't help but wonder why.
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Separating salt water from oil is not all that difficult. You might be surprised to know that most oil pumped from wells contains salt water that has to be separated, it's one of the things done by the holding tanks, allowing it to naturally separate in the field before being picked up and trucked off to a refinery. Speeding up the process with a centrifugal pump is a nice touch and would definitely be effective. The flow rates are so massive though we need a fleet of tankers equipped with these to literally suck up every acre foot of ocean water affected, process it and eject the 'cleaned' water. The logistics are rather daunting. I do agree with another commenter, we should have dropped a mini nuke down the hole to seal it when it first happened. It's not like the well couldn't be re-drilled.
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IT WORKS!...In my (lil') experiment:
Because the oil is already lighter than the (salt)water and has 'cohesive-properties', it was 'easily' removed from my saltwater with the use of minimal 'PROTEIN SKIMMING'...
(Approx. 55-gallons of water containing approx 1-quart of 'dirty' oil was completely removed -'STRIPPED' from the (.022 S.G.)saltwater within (only) approx. 20 minutes at approx. 100-GPH(?), simply 'gravity-fed' (from the water's surface) into a 'home-made' 24"X4" PVC skimmer-column (using only a small-'cheapy' aquarium airpump)...
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Think of it as a model. Using centrifugal force might be the answer. This prototype doesn't have the power to do the whole job, but it might be a step in the right direction, and lead to a solution. A calamity on this scale will have no easy quick fixes. After all, BP just opened Pandora's Box.
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will 'GIANT' Protein Skimming assist in removing the oil from the the water's surface areas?...These would be relatively inexpensive and could run 24-7 removing huge amounts of contaminants...It seems (to me) that numerous (& titanic) Skimmer units placed close to the marsh areas could (at least) remove a great deal of all incoming matter...I equate it to the 'nasty-foam' you see on beaches everywhere, which was produced simply by the wave's churning action of introducing air into the water's surface area...Enormous amounts of water pumped-drained into huge columns and mixed with compressed air would eliminate huge amounts of contaminates before it reaches shorelines...(???)
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