BP approves Kevin Costner’s idea for oil cleanup

Kevin Costner with his Ocean Therapy centrifuge.

Maybe “Waterworld” wasn’t a complete waste. While Costner was making that watery flop he began paying scientists to develop an idea for cleaning up oil spills — a large-scale centrifuge that can separate oil from sea water, saving the oil in tanks while returning the clean seawater to the sea.

BP approved Costner’s “Ocean Therapy” centrifuge as a cleanup technology yesterday, according to WWL-TV,  after watching it work in New Orleans last Thursday. The centrifuge reportedly can remove 97 percent of the oil from water.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune seemed dismissive of Costner’s centrifuge when it appeared last week, listing it along with a raft of other ideas people have submitted for addressing the BP’s disaster in the gulf.

But one centrifuge can clean up to 210,000 gallons of sea water per day, according to John Houghtaling, CEA of Ocean Therapy Solutions. That’s the amount some government scientists estimate has been spilling from the remains of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

“The machines are basically sophisticated centrifuge devices that can handle a huge volume of water and separate at unprecedented rates,” Houghtaling told WWLTV. “Costner has been funding a team of scientists for the last 15 years to develop a technology which could be used for massive oil spills.”

Inspired by the 1989 Exxon-Valdez spill, Costner and his brother Dan have invested $15 million in the centrifuge.

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