Washington, D.C. (Global Adventures): After extensive testing, BP has finally signed a letter of intent to buy 32 centrifuges from Ocean Therapy Solutions to help with the cleanup of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Actor Kevin Costner, who provided up to $26 million to fund research and development since the 1989 Exxon Valdez accident, demonstrated weeks ago how the machines work.
The machines are specifically designed to clean water from oil or other liquids. After taking in polluted water, a rotor generates a continuous centrifugal force that separates liquids of different densities. Oil mixes, lighter oil is pushed towards the center of the centrifuge and heavier water is pushed outwards. The liquids move to separate outlets. The liquids can be collected in tanks or in case of seawater returned to the ocean.
Costner says that the largest machine, the V20, can clean up to 200 gallons of contaminated water per minute. This would enable a single centrifuge to extract up to 2,000 barrels of oil per day.
While the units have all the approvals needed to be deployed; the actor and his business partner are now waiting for payment from BP, several news outlets report. The 2.5 ton V20 sells for about $500,000. Technical problems posed by oil that has been turned into a gooey mass with the consistency of peanut butter have been overcome, Costner said.
The award winning actor, who is a partner in Ocean Therapy Solutions, is confident that the oil separator machines can still have an immediate impact on the clean-up process, despite the fact that the oil has reached the shores of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The units ordered by BP are now in production.
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