Magnets Prove Effective in Cleaning Up Oil Spills
Researchers at MIT have discovered a new method to improve the efficiency of cleaning up oil spills, using magnets. The “surprisingly simple but effective method for magnetically separating oil and water,” according to the university's website, could prove to be more thorough, less costly and less harmful to the environment.
Inspired by the catastrophic events of the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Markus Zahn, a professor of electrical engineering at MIT, began testing his idea as explained in a recently posted YouTube video.
"The current oil spill technology, like skimmers -- they're very good in calm waters but in choppy waters, their oil recovery efficiency is about 50 percent… Our technology is supposed to improve that efficiency," postdoc Sharhriar Khushrushahi explains in the video. Think of it as an “add-on technology,” he explains.
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Unlike burning the oil, this method would not harm the environment and could be carried out quickly and continuously.
Considering the rate and frequency of oil spill occurring every year, the technology could play a huge role in saving ecosystems around the globe.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.