Saturday, July 17, 2010

A better way

In thinking about the antiquated technology we're presently using on the oil in the Gulf I think it's beyond time to rethink and redesign oil spill tech. With spills getting ever larger and the means based in tech that's 40+ years old the time is overdue. Here's just a few ideas that come to mind that would move us forward.

This is a frame press. It's used to separate water from wastes by forcing it through membranes or filters. This is actually a small version. They can be as big as the size of a small house and can process quite a bit of liquids with filters as big as 50 sq. ft. With BP using massive quantities of dispersants there now is no choice but to use different methods. We know that when oil is treated as BP did then the oil becomes heavier than water making the usual separation methods ineffective. All of Kevin Costner's good work gone down the drain. Had they attacked this problem like a military operation from the beginning there would have been less problems but that would be hindsight and there's no time for that now. At present we can only deal with all the mistakes made and learn to deal with it.

The 'A Whaler' was a good idea had it been readily available from the get go and dispersants not been used. But let's take some old technology twist it around a bit and see if we can't come up with better ideas. With some modifications I think the giant skimmer ship might be promising. I'd retrofit it with six large booms that could be extended out 40 or 50 feet off the port and starboard sides of the ship. At the end of each boom would be a floating collection box with a sweep and vacuum. A camera mounted at the end of each would help find the ribbons of oil. A couple of snorkels with camera could suck up a good bit of the undersea plumes.

I'm sure there are plenty of other good ideas out there just waiting to be perfected.


Ranch Chimp said...

Buenos Dias Senor Demeur!

First of all ... thanx for the "lesson" ... because alot of the thing's you talk about, I am dumb as a doorknob on, I only know printing equipment since that was my industry for year's ... and only working on my car's. I had no idea of the danger's that could have been involved even with this deep drilling for that matter. I been reading down in Brazil for instance (a country that even uses ethanol at that) they plan on drilling in water's off shore now, even 3 time's deeper than that where this Gulf accident went foul. And I am pro drill .... but too an extent, and advocate for much more regulatory item's to be thrown in. As far as their equipment or technologies .... I heard how old some of that shit is, I dont think any of them give's a rat's ass ... and wont slow down enough to even check it out, as if their in a competition game to see who can drill the most and supply, especially with China and India now boosting their usage, it's like a goddamn rat race. If not forced through legislation I feel ... they wont stop a damn thing their doing, and they are actually damaging their own business, because it will hit them financially in the longrun. But what other is the incentive for them to spend billion's on new equipment, if they can just use the Hell out of what they have?

Thanx Guy .....

Demeur said...

You're right they don't give a rat's ass. Not to insult you from being from Texas but you'll note that most of these companies are located in Texas. I knew that when the Shrub was gov. there he had the worst record on environment but what he left the rest of the country with his non regulations is just criminal.
The right wing just doesn't seem to understand that if you keep dumping nasty things in the environment that eventually we'll all land up breathing polluted air and drinking the poisons we dump in the ground. Case in point the 'fracturing' the gas companies are doing around Dallas Ft. Worth. The people in Dish,Texas can not drink water out of their own taps.

The Blog Fodder said...

There are those on the religious right who believe we no longer need to look after the environment as "the end times" are so near and Jesus will come and rescue all the believers up into the clouds to the Kingdom of Heaven. They are the same nut bars that do not want to see peace in the Middle East as they want a sever conflict to hasten Armageddon and The Second Coming.
Ain't it fun?

Demeur said...

BF I guess they forgot to read the part that says to be good stewards of the earth.

Ranch Chimp said...

Oh Guy ..... dont worry about the insult's of Texas, especially on this, man oh man ... I know better than anyone how the game here work's ... wow ... could I tell some stories to ya'll that you may have a difficult time believing it actually goes on. (Shrub(?) ... wow ... I havent heard that in a long time!) But ... no one should be suprised that so many of these are in Texas either, Texas is about the most unregulated place in the country ... it is also a business mecca like no where's else. The shit that goes on here you couldnt get away with in most other state's, exception of a few of the other coastal state's like Mississippi, Alabama, Lousiana, etc. As I said in my posting not long back that I done on Texas ... I consider the state overall as an enviromental nightmare. Yes I know about the town's with the water even coming out of the faucet's in home's that if you hold a flame to, the water pouring out the faucet set's aflame. Underground pipeline's of gas are exploding left and right and now Texas is having to replace all these old fitting that corroded with PVC or such, and there are more of these underground pipe's in Texas than anywhere's in the nation. The Dallas- Fort Worth Metroplex has over 7000 natural gas drilling site's, which is one of the reason's we didnt feel the recession like most state's ... but are now getting mild earthquake's that scientist's are wondering why, and is it related? But as far as making money ... well ... this is the place to be, especially if it's trying to get around regulation's etc ... and it's all corrupt here, like nowhere's else, I been pretty much all over the nation and lived in a few state's. I watched pay- off's go down here in companies in person. I'll shut up though now.

Tim said...

I'm not actually sure we learned a damn thing. We made the same damn mistakes for Valdez and for the 1979
Gulf oil volcano,Ixtoc or something like that.
We used that same damn so called technology as this time. Even the same dispersant which has harmed people each time.
Naw we're as crazy as a hatter as we do the same things expecting different results.

an average patriot said...

what about this? I was disturbed finding out the attitude, this, and what Jean Michal Cousteau said about technology. People do not matter but they have the technology to re-oxygenate the water and suck up and separate the dispersant and oil saving the oil and putting clean water back to the tune of a million gallons per day for each of the 24 machines that are waiting for word to be put on barges and sent out. I am nonplussed right now! ecosphere re-oxidizes while separating the dispersant and oil, endorsed by Jean Michal Cousteau

The attitude I now know is destroy what you want to get what we want and we have the technology to make it whole again.

And this? oil swallow

BBC said...

In thinking about the antiquated technology we're presently using on the oil in the Gulf I think it's beyond time to rethink and redesign oil spill tech.

So, invent something cool, patent it, and you can become rich. Otherwise you are just a bar stool dreamer. I have no idea how to fix that problem other than bombing it closed as soon as it happened.

Actually, I don't give a crap if they ruin their part of the country.

S.W. Anderson said...

Iteresting ideas, Demeur.

Since it's unlikely the industry would voluntarily do the right thing, the government should undertake an R&D program to come up with better ways to prevent runaway oil leaks and big spills, and deal with ones that happen anyway.

The government should then mandate industry use what it has come up with -- and send industry the bill for all the R&D.

Roger Owen Green said...

Am I wromng to think that the use of the dispersants will prove to be one of the the greatest parts of the disaster?

Demeur said...

Roger you're absolutely right. I think BP thought that they could stop the well long before this so in order to keep the oil away from shore and not give an accurate barrel count they figured it would be cheaper to dump dispersants on it.