Big (Green) Deal: Waterworld 2

So this is what Kevin Costner has been up to since bombing it with Waterworld…developing a means to clean oil out of real-life water?

BP to test out actor Kevin Costner’s oil spill clean-up machine for possible use in Gulf Coast spill

BY Nick Klopsis

Monday, June 14th 2010, 12:23 PM

Kevin Costner hopes his invention can make the oil spill saga have a Hollywood ending.

The “Field of Dreams” actor called his oil separator a “life preserver,” saying that his device can help clean up the Gulf and that it’s not too late to put it into action.

Costner told ABC’s Sam Champion on “Good Morning America” that BP has already purchased 32 of the machines.

“I’m not on a white horse,” Costner said. “I’m not the savior to this thing. But I’m kind of saying, like, I got a life preserver.”

The device, which is designed to be brought to the spill site on barges, can separate 99% of oil from water and recycle up to 2,000 barrels per day. Costner spent 15 years and $20 million of his own money to develop the machine.

“If 20 of my V20s would have been at the Exxon Valdez, 90 percent of that oil would have been cleaned up within the week,” Costner said.

The “Dances with Wolves” and “Waterworld” star said he got the idea to develop the centrifuge while watching the Exxon-Valdez spill in 1989.

“… [W]hat happened is as a young man, as a boy, I would see these things, these images, and I could tell my parents would stop and look at the TV,” he said. “And when you’re young, you look at them and you go, ‘Something stopped them.’ And what stopped them was these images.

“So I looked at those images myself and it was rubber boots. And it was straw. And it was pitch forks. And then I looked at it again ten years later and I wasn’t a boy anymore. And I’m looking at it. And now I’m going, the same images, the oil coming up like pudding and people again on beaches with rubber boots and straw.”

BP tested a version of Costner’s device earlier this year, but the test failed after the machine gave the oil a peanut butter-like consistency. That problem has since been fixed, and BP is retesting the machine now in the hopes of getting it to the Gulf soon.

Despite the fact that the oil has reached the shores of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, Costner is confident that his oil separator can step in and make an immediate impact on the clean-up process.

“That oil’s going to keep coming towards those people,” Costner said. “That well has not stopped. So we have to be out at the source, sucking it up on some major, I mean, we have to treat it a little bit like a war. We mustered logistically everything we had to get the Beaches of Normandy. We have to muster everything we can to keep it from hitting our beaches.

And the actor hopes that the machine can help prevent large-scale incidents like this from occurring in the future.

“… [W]e know accidents are going to happen, “Costner said. “But if we’re going to operate on our high seas, we have to have– we have to have this equipment there and … it should be able to operate the minute the oil comes into contact with water.”

Waterworld photo via Bluraymedia
Blog post title courtesy of Butch


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