By Alessandra CalderinPosted 07.27.2010 at 12:58 pm 3 Comments
When the Deepwater Horizon rig began leaking oil into the Gulf of Mexico in April, the cleanup schemes were underwhelming: fire, dispersants, pantyhose stuffed with human hair. But a new robotic system could corral future spills in hours so that oil never hits the shore.
Aeros (Airborne Robotic Oil Spill Recovery System) is a fleet of airplane-deployed robots that cordon off the oil and use centrifuge-like oil/water separators to collect oil for refining. Each 'bot can purify up to 3,000 gallons of water a minute.
An oil company helping launch an electric car? The jokes write themselves. (Launch it where, into space?) But it's true: low-speed electric carmaker Electrovaya launched its Maya-300 car this week with help from ExxonMobil. The oil giant's "SuperPolymer" separator film is used in production of Electrovaya's lithium-ion battery. But wait, there's more.