While BP continues to use toxic dispersants to break apart oil from the Deep Horizon spill, many companies are stepping up to other solutions—to no avail.
One company is Houston-based Planet Resource Recovery, Inc., which hopes to use a compound called PetroLuxus to separate the oil and water, leaving a clean crude product for recovery.
“We are about reclaiming the oil, just as an original product,” CEO Kurt Neubauer. “It could be better then when it is first brought on board.”
According to the company Web site, the PetroLuxus is a non-toxic, non-flammable, environmentally friendly compound developed to dislodge hydrocarbons from virtually all natural and man-man structures.
Neubauer says he’s been working with the compound since 1997 and using it as his primary product with Planet Resource Recovery to clean oil refineries since the company was founded in 2005. He says PetroLuxus has been used in numerous field tests over the past two years, including and EPA project in Pennsylvania—completed in six days on a 45-day deadline.
“We have a proposal to pick up oil offshore. Not only offshore on the surface but down to 200-250 feet,” he says.
After the seawater is shed from the oil, it would then be treated and EPA approved, he adds.
“We can even pick up the dispersed oil since it’s still hydrocarbon. We can go below sea level and pick up a lot of these plooms.”
The only problem with the recovery he says is a thin layer of film need still need to be separated from the water.
One person that may be able to help with the separation is Kevin Costner, who, with the help of his brother Dan, created a device to separate water while filming the movie Water World.
Neubauer says he’s been in contact with Costner about using his $26 million device named “Ocean Therapy.”
Last week Texas Congresswoman Debbie Riddle contacted Neubauer after she heard him speak on a local Houston radio station. Since that time, Neubauer says his company has made “headway” on getting his and other companies involved with the spill recovery.
“We leave tomorrow morning for Washington (D.C) to meet with representatives from petroleum services. From there I’m going to New York on Thursday and from Friday we fly with Ms. Riddle to New Orleans where we will meet with Gov. (Bobby) Jindal and possibly Mr. (Adm. Thad) Allen himself.
“We’re not trying to be the be all end all…but definitely think we can help with the solution.