Breakthrough or bogus? I ask readers to help sort it out.
Every once in awhile something comes along that gives us a wow factor. This is one of those times.
What you see below is a frame from a video that shows a magnet pulling oil out of that water using a reusable binding agent called NAIMOR. I had to watch this several times, because I kept looking for the “trick”. I couldn’t find any. If there is a trick, it is way better than “Mike’s Nature Trick” because surely this stuff is tricking out nature to do what seems impossible.
This morning, my inbox contained a letter from Dr. Ivano Aglietto, which begins:
Through the columns of your esteemed blog I would like to bring to the notice of all the environmental groups, the development of a new eco-friendly nanostructure material for oil spill recovery.
Mind you, from the firehose that is my inbox, I get emails of all sorts every day with all kinds of nutty requests, and this one could have easily gone into the bit bucket, but I can’t quite get over the image of a magnet pulling oil out of the water, since it goes against everything I’ve ever known about the properties of hydrocarbons. At the same time the maxim “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is” comes to mind. I’ll let readers be the judge.
Here is the pitch on Indiegogo:
Environmental oil spill disasters such as the BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico may recur unexpectedly. The outcome of such disasters are enormous leading to the killing of marine creatures and contamination of natural water streams, storm water systems or even water supplies. We must be ready to confront such turbulences with effective and eco-friendly solutions to minimize the short term or long term issues.
There are many ineffective and costlier conventional technologies for the remedy of oil spills like using of dispersants, oil skimmers, sand barrier berms, oil containment booms, by controlled burning of surface oil, bioremediation and natural degradation.
A cost effective solution RECAM® – REactive Carbon Material, is developed for oil spill recovery but having some limitations in usage because of its structure and features. RECAM® comes in powder form and not effective for excessive usage in oil recovery.
To overcome the issues in RECAM®, a new revolutionary solution NAIMOR® – NAnostructure Innovative Material for Oil Recovery, was proposed. It is a three dimensional, nanostructure carbon material and can be produced in different shapes, dimensions. Highly hydrophobic and can absorb a quantity of oil around 150 times its weight. Light, strong, flexible and can be reused many times without losing its absorption capacity. Campaign video showcases the RECAM® and the new proposed concept NAIMOR® which needs your SUPPORT for becoming a reality.
NAIMOR® (NAnostructure Innovative Material for Oil Recovery) is a nanostructure material that can be produced in different shapes and dimensions with an incredible efficiency for oil recovery.
Main Characteristics and Properties
- Can absorb quantity of oil 150 times its weight.
- Inert, made of pure carbon, environmental friendly and no chemicals involved.
- Highly hydrophobic and the absorbed oil does not contain any water.
- Regenerable and can be used several times without producing any wastes.
- It is a three dimensional nanostructure and can be produced in different shapes, dimensions.
- Capable of recovering gallons of oil depending on the shape and dimensions of the carpet.
The video was a bit stereotypical for oil spills, using the same kinds of footage of oil soaked animals that tugs at your heartstrings and are the tools of the enviros to motivate people. But, like the fascinating magnetic recovery, then the guy drinks the water that has been cleaned of oil. It has all the makings of a snake oil scam, OTOH it has all the makings of a breakthrough done independently on a shoestring. We have many readers far more familiar with oil recovery than I, perhaps they can help sort out which it is.
Note: the solar panel on the boat can’t possibly provide enough power to do the job, so I’m skeptical of the entire claim. The pelican didn’t help either.
Since running an electromagnet over the ocean would be rather energy intensive and probably a bit slow on recovery, the simple solution proposed is to manufacture the stuff into carpets, put the carpets on the oil spill, pull them in, and then squeeze the oil out of the carpets using a roller, like the old ringer/roller washing machines would squeeze water out of wet clothing:
Is this a pie in the sky idea? Is it practical? I have no idea, but for the mere pittance the inventor is asking for, $55,000, it’s probably worth finding out.
More here if you want to help back the project: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/naimor-nanostructure-innovative-material-for-oil-recovery
- Nanotechnology crowdfunding: Nanostructured material for oil spill remediation (w/video) (nanowerk.com)