Screen grabs: Youtube
Wants to Use it on BP Oil SpillIf you don't know about the BP oil spill by now, you've probably been living in a cave for the past few weeks. The catastrophe is far from over, and most of what BP has been trying to stop the oil leaks has failed so far. That means that there's a lot of oil in the water, and more being added all the time. Clean-up efforts will be long and hard, and volunteers will need all the help they can get. Even from Kevin Costner! The actor and environmental activist just demonstrated a machine that extracts 97% of the oil from water.
This Makes Up for WaterworldFrom what has been revealed, it seems like there's a centrifuge inside of the machine that helps it separate the oil from the water (because of their different densities). The problem will of course be to first contain the oil so it can be extracted from the water. If the oil is dispersed over a vast area, it'll be impossible to filter all that water to capture the oil...
Costner helped fund the development of this machine 15 years ago. The researchers were headed by Costner's brother, a scientist. Currently there are 5 different models of the extractor, from 5 gallons/minute to 200 gallons/minute. If it works well - and better than other methods - it could no doubt be scaled to a lot more than this, though maybe not in time to help clean up the BP oil spill. Let's hope there's not a next time, but better be ready just in case...
More on BP Oil Spill
BP is Trying to Intubate the Biggest Oil Leak, But Will It Succeed?
First Underwater Images of the Gulf Oil Leak (What BP Won't Show You) [Updated]
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