NEW ORLEANS ― Kevin Costner's oil cleaning device is in the wilderness no more.
BP approved a test of Costner’s Ocean Therapy device to help the company attempt to clean up the Gulf of Mexico after its Deepwater Horizon drill rig exploded, sank and began gushing copious amounts of oil into the water.
The machine, described as a centrifugal processing device that separates oil from water, was developed by a consortium of scientists hired by Costner following the Exxon-Valdez oil spill in 1989.
“The machines are basically sophisticated centrifuge devices that can handle a huge volume of water and separate at unprecedented rates,” Ocean Therapy Solutions CEO John Houghtaling said. “They were developed from older centrifuge technology. Normal centrifuge machines are very slow and sensitive to different ratios of oil to water mixtures at intake.
“Costner has been funding a team of scientists for the last 15 years to develop a technology which could be used for massive oil spills.”
BP watched the machine at work this past Thursday, taking it for a test-run before saying yes or no to the group.
According to Costner and Houghtaling’s company, one machine can clean up to 210,000 gallons of water per day. The company also says the oil can be separated and stored into tanks, leaving the water clean.