Eco-Living Magazine

Elastec Wins Cash for Creating Vastly Improved Oil Skimmer

Posted on the 21 October 2011 by 2ndgreenrevolution @2ndgreenrev

Elastec Wins Cash for Creating Vastly Improved Oil Skimmer$1 million is a lot of motivation. Using that cash from the X Prize Foundation’s “X Challenge” contest as an incentive, Illinois-based Elastec/American Marine has come up with a new technology that allows oil to be siphoned off of water at a faster rate than currently possible. 

About the size of a large truck, the skimmer is made up plastic discs with a scraper along the top. The idea behind the machine is simple. As oil is picked off of the water, it is placed in a trough and pumped away. The device has achieved an efficiency rate of 90%. See it in action in the video below.The contest rules stipulated that the amount of oil removed from the water per hour had to be at least 2,500 gallons per minute. This contrasts with the current industry standard of 1,100 gallons of oil per minute. Elastec actually nearly doubled the goal X Challenge has set by closing in on nearly 5,000 gallons per minute. It would be great if that skimmed oil could be reused, but that’s probably in the realm of future technological advances.

Though the machine would probably not be too useful on enormous spills like the Deepwater Horizon hemorrhage last year, tankers that have run aground like the one in New Zealand could be targets for the new machine to help contain the spill and limit environmental damage.

This story is also one of American job creation and competing in a global world. The small, 150 person company is now taking orders from all over the world for its product and will be hiring in order to increase production.


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