Monday, June 21, 2010

Military Decontamination Could Clean Up Oil Spills

A university researcher advises that Fibertect—an inert decontamination system that is used to neutralize chemical warfare agents—could aid recovery efforts in the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Look for oil companies to get serious with cleanup efforts over the next few weeks. R.C.J.

As most everyone around the world is now aware, a recent explosion and fire aboard a British Petroleum (BP) Deepwater Horizon semi-submersible drilling rig off the coast of Louisiana caused the gushing of more than 5,000 barrels of crude oil per day into the Gulf of Mexico. Despite repeated attempts to cap the geyser and stem the flow of oil, BP has so far failed to stop what has now become the worst oil spill in the history of the United States.
As a secondary well designed to divert the oil flow is drilled—an endeavor that could take months—efforts are shifting to cleaning up the oil that has already spilled. One material that has already proven itself in the field for the cleanup of toxic chemical warfare agents—called Fibertect—may prove effective in aiding cleanup efforts, according to its inventor, Professor Seshadri Ramkumar at The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH) at Texas Tech University.
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