General Question

flo's avatar

Can the oil be recovered and used for something, just like the poop can be turned into heat?

Asked by flo (12974points) June 3rd, 2010

Re. the oil spill/s…

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

10 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

You could send it up North and people like me with high efficiency reburner type wood burning stoves can burn the absorbent material and oil mix. Heck at 900F I can even burn the dead birds and sea animals.

JLeslie's avatar

I was wondering if the oil they are capturing or skimming, or whatever they are doing to tr to control its spread across the Gulf is actually able to be used. I am not thinking a creative use, I just wondered if they can refine it and still make money. GQ.

kelly's avatar

Absolutely can all be refined into lubricants, fuels, diesel, gasoline, chemicals. Many crudes come to a refinery with salt water included. The sand and debris can be filtered out, precipitated. Oil Shale found in HUGE deposits in western Colorado and Utah is actually a rock with solid oil in it. It is first melted and filtered to make it synthetic crude of a viscosity that can be pumped then put through a standard refining process.

YARNLADY's avatar

I would like to see a system that would scoop up the residue and use it for something, but the “super scooper” hasn’t been invented yet.

flo's avatar

@worriedguy and @kelly,
So, then it why isn’t all being captured way before it gets to the coastline and used? is there any obstacle?

YARNLADY's avatar

All the above answer are correct – the operative word is “collect”. There is no known method to do this.

flo's avatar

Oil spills have been around for a while right, so why hasn’t the technology of collecting the oil been invented?

laureth's avatar

Oil spills have been around, yes, but none as big as this. Technology that works for smaller spills is being deployed, but it’s hard to clean up miles and miles and miles of beach with men and shovels, and it’s hard to clean it up when technology that does work is not deployed properly (link goes to video with strong, NSFW language). My own personal speculation is that “oil cleanup costs money, it doesn’t make money, so it’s best for the company to socialize the direct and indirect costs of cleanup and go on to more profitable activities, such as pumping more oil without obeying too many expensive safety regulations.” But that’s just me.

Also, BP is pumping a vast amount of “dispersants” into the water to make the oil break up and sink to the midstream, where it’s not as visible on beaches and they can deny that it’s even there. It’s sort of like a mix of oil and soap, which is pretty much impossible to separate. It’s not like you can just go suck up pure oil.

flo's avatar

@laureth that makes sense. But for the future, is something on the way? As in one of the billionaires funds the research to the invention of the technology to cap/collect the spill, they would go and save the day and make money from it too.
By the way what is this about the bacteria that feed on the oil?
And the genius kid who is with Kevin Costner and James Cameron?

flo's avatar

@laureth I realize it doesn’t make money is the key, since it doesn’t happen often, so let me edit out the ”...make money from it too” part.
I really appreciate the videos you provided, really thoughful.

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