Oil Hair Mats – An Environmentally-Friendly Way to Manage Oil Spills

Oil hair mats are used to clean up Ocean Beach, CA

Oil hair mats are used to clean up an oil spill at Ocean Beach, CA

Oil spills create serious environmental trouble for marine life.

2008 saw approximately 2,600 oil spills around the world, the majority from leaky pipelines, overturned oil trucks and harbor spills, along with illegal dumping and tankers colliding or running aground. 363 million gallons of oil (almost half the total oil spilled) came from used motor oil spills, much of which makes its way through our rivers and oceans.

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Florida City opens innovative wastewater to energy Facility

Back in August of last year, I wrote about plans in Sanford, Florida, to open a plant to convert wastewater sludge into renewable green energy http://tinyurl.com/ltg2b5 by utilizing a biomass gassifier.

The plant is now open and the northern Floridia city has signed a 20-year contract with Houston-based MaxWest Environmental Systems to operate the system. The city will pay MaxWest $258,000 a year for the power it produces over the course of the contract.

With an anticipated savings of $9 million over the 20-year contract, more utilities are taking a hard look at this promising technology. MaxWest is working with eight other Florida municipalities to set up similar gasifiers.