Millions of gallons of oil were spewed into the Gulf of Mexico from the ocean floor well formerly attached to British Petroleum’s (BP’s) Deep Water Horizon drilling rig. The leak appears to have been stopped, but Gulf Coast states are still seeking protection for sensitive shoreline ecosystems, and EnSolve Biosystems, Raleigh, N.C., produces ShoreClean™ products to be part of the containment—and cleanup—strategy.
EnSolve combines two technologies in its ShoreClean booms and bags for oil-spill deployment. First, the floating booms contain an oil-loving sorbent capable of absorbing eight times its weight in oil. As the oil is captured, wave action releases naturally occurring microbes within the boom to break down the oil into water and carbon dioxide. The technology has been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard and “has been successfully used for more than 10 years to treat ships’ oily bilge water, meeting the most stringent internal clean-water standards,” says Dr. Jason Caplan, CEO of EnSolve. The bags can be anchored along beach tidal lines to soak up oil for two-to-four weeks.