Everyone remembers the catastrophic oil spills like BP’s in 2010. Few remember the slow motion spills, like Taylor Energy’s, which has been drip drip dripping for all of the past 10 years—a leak shrouded in secrecy and seemingly impossible to fix.
Although it sounds absolutely bonkers, a common technique for cleaning up oil spills is burning as much as possible, then scooping up the residue. Trying the same technique in Arctic conditions is complicated, burning faster but hiding sooty residue within the ice.
Oh, ferrofluids, is there anything you can't do? Researchers led by MIT's Markus Zahn have devised a technique for separating oil from water. Using magnets. Tiny, tiny magnets that temporarily transform polluting oil into a magnetically manipulable ferrofluid.
Al Jazeera just published an astonishing report on the after-effects of the BP oil disaster, and it's not pretty. There are an alarming number of deformities in sea creatures: mutated shrimp, fish with sores and lesions, eyeless crabs and more. It's unlike anything local fisherman have ever seen.
Most everyone knows that oil and water don't mix. Oil molecules are non-polar, meaning their charge is distributed more or less evenly throughout their structure. Water, on the other hand, is polar — different parts of each water molecule carry a weak positive or negative charge.
Current industry-standard oil recovery equipment pulls roughly 1,000 gallons a minute but, as the Deep Water Horizon incident showed, that simply isn't good enough. So Wendy Schmidt—as in wife of ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt—put up a $1.4 million purse for any team that could extract 2,500 gallons a minute. Here's the…
Seriously? BP admitted today that a pipeline leak on Saturday resulted in "2,100 to 4,200 gallons" of methanol and oily water being spilled onto the Alaskan tundra. After last year's 5 million barrels spilt, can they really afford even small screw-ups?
Donald Trump. Just a normal man with a normal ego. An ego so mild that he casually asked to be put in charge of BP repair operations. When he was turned down, he offered to build Obama a ballroom. Hoookay!
Fixing This | One year on, we take a look at the technologies used to combat the worst oil spill in US history
Exactly a year ago, the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank to the bottom of the ocean, beginning the slow underwater seep of 5 million barrels of oil. Today, the Gulf is better—but the disaster's damage remains.
Uh oh! During some "routine business travel," a BP employee managed to lose a laptop which contains the personal data of the thousands of Louisiana residents who filed compensation claims after the Gulf oil spill:
The Gulf oil spill was an ecological disaster of unmitigated proportions — but some scientific good may come from it. As a side effect of this horrific incident, for the first time scientists have been able to observe how the oil becomes an aerosol, transferring from the sea to the air in an unspoiled environment.
Need a break from holiday commercialism? Want to send a much-needed gift to groups cleaning up one of 2010's worst disasters? Great! Check out Breaking Waves, an anthology featuring award-winning writers like Ursula K. Le Guin and Vonda McIntyre.
The year is only just grinding to a halt, but Twitter's already released its list of the top subjects tweeted about in 2010. Of the 25 billion tweets published, BP's Gulf oil spill disaster was the most tweeted-about term.
Sometimes we all have to to own up to our mistakes and serve the time. But not the classy folks at BP! According to the NY Times, BP will challenge estimates of the oil spilled in order to reduce their fine.
Scientists have found dead and dying coral reefs 4,500 feet deep in the Gulf of Mexico. The dead coral means that oil from the BP oil spill is harming marine life in the deep ocean too.
I love the series of photos of Anthony Burrill using oil from Louisiana beaches left from the BP oil disaster for his posters. From something so horrible comes something pretty eye-catching—and beneficial for the charity the profits support.