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06. Safe fragrances
05. DNA mass information store
04. Garden mounds for permaculture
03. Silver as high-tech material
02. Micro needle transmits medications and light
01. Electricity storage in gravity systems

12. An eye on space hazards
11. Water purification through freezing
10. Solar shingles
09. Trinary code
08. Vegetation-based battery materials
07. Indoor position location
06. The interface industry
05. Hypersonic aircraft
04. Re-usable glass packaging
03. Vein patterns as personal ID
02. Magnet making bacteria
01. Ultra-light solids

12. Ultrasound in water
11. Projected touchscreen
10. Electric airplane
08. Glass hard disc
04. Nuclear hazard
03. Clearing “sewer soap”
02. Water harvesting
01. Tea bag size personal water filter

12. Human powered water transport
11. The Technium
08. Bio-remediation of oil spills
07. Cleaner coal
05. Oil spill remediation
04. Solar towers
03. Brain-computer
02. Biodiesel producing bacteria
01. Hydrogen producing bacteria

12. Levitating living organisms
11. A new blue
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07. Algal biofuel
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01. Air cleansing building material

12. ebooks
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09. Virus identification chip
08. Bio-fuels
07. Electronic financial trading
06. Bio-remediation
05. New tech agriculture
04. Manufactured Hotels
03. Magnetic Induction
02. Genetic Vaults
01. Solid-state lighting

12 Bacteria in agriculture and industry
11. Blue revolution
10. Electronic nose
09. Nuclear sarcophagus
08. Shape shifting technology
07. Thought activated technology
06. Green is cool - make me look green
05. Electronic 'drugs'
04. Super-canals and super-ships
03. Environmentally friendly technology: greens versus grays
02. Agriculture: food,fiber and fuel
01. FPGA floating-point performance surpasses microprocessor

08. Energy sources for electricity compete
07. Universal interface (UI)
06. Magnetic levitation
05. Light pipes
04. Storage of electricity
03. Automotive engines
02. Molecular assembly
01. Introducing Technoscan Newsbriefs

Vol. 5, No. 5. May 31, 2010
ISSN 1932-3018

Oil spill remediation
Positioning this technology in the
Functionality Grid
Reformatted from: Van Wyk, Rias J: Technology - A Unifying Code, 2004, SMG, Cape Town, p.34. Based on: Ropohl, Gunter: Eine Systemtheorie der Technik, 1979, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich and Vienna, p.178.
This Newsbrief deals with a new procedure for cleaning up oil pollution from the ocean - a mechanical solution that uses centrifuges to separate oil from water. In terms of the Atlas of Technological Megatrends it is concerned with the functionality of matter processing.
In April 2010 the Deepwater Horizon, an oilrig, operated by BP in the Gulf of Mexico, suffered a serious explosion and sank. On the date of this Newsbrief, oil from an uncontrolled well was being discharged into the ocean. While efforts at remediation were under way, there appeared to be a low level of preparedness for dealing with technological catastrophes of this nature.
Oil spill remediation involves three principle approaches:
  • Biological - in which the oil is digested by organisms
  • Chemical - in which oil is burnt or diluted with dispersants
  • Mechanical - in which oil is physically gathered and recovered
A company called Ocean Therapy Solutions has reportedly offered BP a new centrifugal separator for mechanical remediation. (Global Adventures, News Feed Comments, "Oil spill: Costner has clean up solution," May 24, 2010). The separator is three meters tall, and ingests a mixture of oil and water through an opening near the top. The mixture flows down, and a spinning rotor then draws the mixture upward. Centrifugal forces separate the lighter oil from the heavier water. Oil and water emerge from separate outlets, and the oil is collected and removed for further processing.
In terms of NASA's nine level scale of technology readiness, the device is at TRL 6. Successful deployment would raise it to TRL 7.
The low level of technological preparedness has drawn attention to the need for greater technological acuity at corporate board level.

© Rias J. van Wyk, 2013. Editor.