BP Oil Spill Summary and Solution

30 May

In case you have been living under a cave for the past few weeks, there was a massive oil spill caused by the BP company, that has continued gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.

Summary:

There have been discrepancies on exactly how much oil has been gushing out.  BP claimed about 200,000 gallons a day, Florida State University researchers estimated about 1 million gallons a day, and engineers from Purdue University predicted that amount is closer to 2.5 million gallons a day.

Although efforts have been made to clean up the spill, efforts have been futile as the oil is still gushing out of the ocean floor from a damaged riser.  Here is one site where you can view a live feed of the spill:

http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/homepage/STAGING/local_assets/bp_homepage/html/rov_stream.html

This is unlike any other oil spill ever experienced; some of the oil has been rising to the surface while the rest of the oil has been sinking.

The oil spill has had disastrous effects on wildlife.  Microbes eating oil have depleted levels of oxygen throughout the ocean.

BP has attempted to use Corexit oil dispersant (molecules that pull oil into water) near the leak sites.  Research from Israel 2007 shows that dispersant kills coral reefs, and the only coral reefs in the U.S. are located in Florida.

Research from Israel 2007 shows that dispersant kills coral reefs, and the only coral reefs in the U.S. are located in Florida.

Possible Solutions:

1) Hay

Darryl Carpenter, the VP of CW Roberts Contracting has demonstrated the effectiveness of using hay.  The waste of hay that results can be burned in refuse-to-energy plants.

2) Kevin Costner’s research funded oil cleaning machine.

Costner has funded research with Ocean Therapy Solutions, which have created a machine capable of cleaning up to 210,000 gallons of water per day. The oil extractor leaves the water 99 percent clean of crude.

Hopefully, there will be a solution soon.  Once the spill reaches the coast of Florida, it has the potential of damaging 5000-7000 year old coral reefs, which would surely be irreparable in this lifetime.

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