May 21, 2010
NO, NO, NO!
Look, I've been hearing these well-meaning ideas about throwing crap like straw into the ocean to mop up the oil spill, but honestly, that's just dumb.
Anything you throw in would have to be scooped out again and transported somewhere. Lots of mess and expense involved.
Back in my Navy days, I was introduced to a piece of equipment called a centrifugal oil separator. We used it to keep water out of the lubricating oil systems of our heavy machinery.
Here's how it works: oil & water get pumped in, it spins the mix around. The water, being heavier, gets spun to the outside of the bowl where it's pumped off. The oil gets sucked out of the middle & pumped somewhere else.
They worked great.
So all you need is a hose floating on the ocean surface to suck up the oil & water, spin it around, then pump the water back overboard. Don't have to transport anything except the oil.