Friday, May 21, 2010

Canadian angle in Waterworld hero Costner's quest to save the water on our world

Way back in 2001, a little noticed news item on imbd proclaimed, "Costner Goes Green". The article stated that Kevin Costner had recently started his own company, Costner Industries Nevada Corp. (CINC Industries), which would be "looking into" 21st Century environmental planning. "I put my money into that. That's my personality, something I believe in," said Costner.

Now, $26 million and ten years later, Costner's CINC Industries liquid separators are being demoed and tested around the Gulf - to pretty substantial fanfare. Meanwhile, a Canadian company, Genoil, also has impressive water separation expertise, not to mention sand cleaning technology, however involvement in the Gulf at this time seems to be behind-the-scenes, if at all.

The claims appearing in various new stories over the last couple of days state that Costner's machine can clean 97-99% of the oil out of the water. The trouble, which no one has really mentioned, is that the U.S. Coast Guard has some regulations that say you can't put more than 2.5 parts per million back in the water, whereas 99% still leaves what, 10,000 parts per million in the water.

Regardless of what the regulations are, it would seem to be a no-brainer to get Costner's 10-30 units of various sizes in place, and at least start cleaning something, right? I dunno though. What if the intake is already pretty diluted? Well, they're supposed to be testing now.

The largest units, which have been nicknamed "Ocean Therapy Solutions" by Costner, but are more accurately called liquid separators, can clean about 200 gallons of water a minute, or 200,000 gallons a day.

Some have mentioned that that is about the same amount of oil spilling per day. But a couple of questions I would have are: what is the concentration of the water being taken up by these units? and - how practical is it to get the machine access to a continuous flow of dirty water?

Another question - there are other companies that have oil / water separators. One in particular is Alberta's Genoil Inc., a publicly traded Edmonton-based corporation whose main strengths are "in engineering and design of heavy oil upgrading facilities, petrochemical, oil sands, and refinery processes, oil and water separation, and chemical engineering."
 
These guys have kick-ass oil water separators that do clean the water to U.S. Coast Guard standards. One presumes they are not as yet involved in the Gulf clean-up, as there have been no press releases given on their website since March and nothing comes up on a web search. Now I have no clue whether Genoil could even get a machine up and running in the Gulf in a year, let alone in a few weeks. Nor do I know how Genoil's machines stack up against the 200,000 gallons a day that CINC's units can process.

However, one thing is clear: Genoil boasts it is "the most advanced oil technology company in the world." Seems like a pretty good reason to get involved in the Gulf. Soon! 

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

It would take 4 months for Genoil to get the required number of units built (30,000 bbls/day). The government to force a hand because BP is not looking ahead.

If they are looking ahead, the real deal will be sand cleaning technology of which Genoil has the best in the world.

Anonymous said...

The specs on CINC's web site say the largest unit can process 200 gallons per minute, not hour!

thurm60756 said...

Its about time that Genoil is getting some notice. The company has some great green technologies! I am an investor and do believe that the will someday be a big player in the oil world.

Anonymous said...

Genoil's technologies are very eco friendly. The Oil water separator-Crystal sea is being marketed to container ships and ports to clean bilges. It could be used in conjunction with Costner's tech to save or help preserve parts of the ecosystem.
Their sand cleaner needs 1mm in funding to be built, but BP and GE have made inqueries and their are not many if any sand cleaners on the market.

The lottery ticket is the heavy to light oil conversion technology. We don't need to drill offshore if we simply upgrade the 100 Billion barrels of flowing heavy crude in Saudi Arabia or convert part of Pemex's 2mm barrels of flowing crude from Mexico. Flowing means unlike tarsand or oil sands in Canada, they can upgrade the heavy to light and refine it to prevent $300/barrel oil until cleaner techs are developed over the next two decades. Big oil doesn't really want lower oil prices. So Genoil is where the soveriegn Oil companies with flowing heavy crude are-Saudi Arabia, Mexico and the rest of the ME.