• Bacteria will help keep CO2 safely sequestered

    With the world still heavily reliant on fossil fuels to meet its energy needs, carbon sequestration technologies could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions; one of the big challenges to making this a reality is ensuring that the CO2 stays locked away underground; the humble Bacillus subtilis bacteria will help

  • BP's first relief well has now reached 4,200 meters, with 1,300 meters to go

    BP has been drilling two relief wells in the Gulf of Mexico in an effort to stem the flow of oil from the stricken Deepwater Horizon; a relief well aims to bisect the original well casing, enabling engineers to pump in mud and concrete to seal up the well; drilling into an 18-centimeter-wide cylinder 5,500 meters below the sea floor is not easy

  • Balls of steel: A scientists proposes dropping steel balls into well to stop leak

    Willard Wattenburg made a name for himself by directing the capping of the more than 500 hundred burning oil wells in Kuwait after the Gulf War in 1991; he now proposes dropping steel balls of different sizes into the gushing well; if the steel balls are big enough in diameter, their weight will pull them downward even through the upward-rushing torrent of oil and gas; they will settle into the well at some deep level and begin to clog it

  • Panel urges extradition, compensation in Bhopal disaster case

    The 1984 Bhopal chemical plant disaster caused the death of 15,000; hundreds of thousands were permanently disabled; and thousands of children were born with birth defects; an Indian government panel has decided to seek the extradition of former Union Carbide Corp. chief Warren Anderson to sand trial in India for; the panel also recommended that the Indian government demand that Dow Chemical Co. — which acquired Union Carbide in 1999 — pay $325 million in compensation for the families of the dead and disabled

  • How safe are the Gulf oil dispersants?

    As of 14 June, more than 3.34 million liters of dispersant had been sprayed onto oil on the sea surface; at least a further 1.52 million liters had been pumped into the oil gushing from the stricken well some 1,500 meters below sea level; the use of such large volumes at depth is unprecedented, and marine biologists are concerned about possible toxicity to organisms, including shrimp and fish larvae

  • Panel sharply raises estimate of oil spilling into the Gulf to 60,000 barrels a day

    A government expert panel raised yet again the estimate of the amount of oil spilling into the Gulf: the new estimate is 60,000 barrels a day, up from 30,000 last week; BP had only been able to collect about 15,000 barrels a day at its peak with the containment cap, and this new calculation, if it holds up, suggests that BP’s latest plans for capturing oil may not be adequate

  • BP capturing "less than half" of oil from spill

    BP claims the cap placed on the broken well is capturing between 15,000 and 16,000 barrels a day, but this is less than half the 40,000 barrels of crude which keep gushing into the Gulf’s water; one Gulf drilling expert has warned that, in a worst-case scenario, it may take until Christmas to contain the leak fully

  • 23-mile long oil plume approaches Florida's Treasure Coast

    Scientists say that the most likely pathway for oil to reach the Florida Keys was for it to be pulled into a counterclockwise rotating frontal eddy in the northeast corner of the Loop Current, and then south along the eastern frontal zone of the Loop Current to the Dry Tortugas; a scientific research vessel finds an extensive oil slick that stretched about twenty miles along the southward flowing jet which merged with the northern front of the Loop Current

  • Fibertect absorbent can clean Gulf oil spill's crude, holds toxic oil and mustard vapors

    New material — raw cotton-carbon Fibertect — can absorb oil up to fifteen times its weight; the material can clean up crude oil and adsorb toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon vapors which sicken oil spill clean-up crew members; also, the material has been tested to successfully remediate mustard vapors such as those found from dumped munitions

  • Coast Guard solicits private sector ideas on how to stem spill, deal with consequences

    We’re adapting to an enemy that changes,” Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander for the oil spill, said; accordingly, in somewhat of an about-face, the Coast Guard last Friday began to solicit ideas from vendors, scientists, government laboratories, and nonprofits on how to stop, contain, and clean up the largest off-shore oil spill in U.S. history

  • 40,000-plus barrels per day pouring into Gulf

    Since the 20 April explosion of the Deepwater Horizon well, BP has insisted that the amount of oil being spilled into the gulf was no more than 5,000 barrels a day; U.S. government scientists yesterday corrected the company’s assertions, saying that amount is at least 40,000 barrels, if not more; the 1989 Exxon Valdez spilled 10.8 million gallons of oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound; there are 42 gallons in a barrel of oil, so 40,000 barrels mean 1,680,000 gallons; this means that since 20 April, the BP well has released oil into the Gulf at a rate of one Exxon Valdez every 6.5 days; in other words, between 20 April and 3 June, when the well’s riser was cut, a quantity of oil equal to seven Exxon Valdez has been spilled into the Gulf

  • BP's oil spill depleting oxygen in Gulf, decimating Gulf's abundant sea life

    The magnitude of the BP oil spill disaster becomes clearer; scientists confirm the massive oil spill spread more than forty nautical miles from the disaster site and at a depth of 3,300 feet; scientists have said that in addition to being nearly impossible to clean up, the oil plumes could deplete oxygen in the Gulf, decimating its abundant sea life

  • Green decontaminants to breaking down chemical weapons

    New products developed non-toxically to decontaminate nerve gas, mustard gas, radioactive isotopes, and anthrax. The formulas are based on ingredients found in foods, cosmetics, and other consumer products

  • Purdue University membrane technology could help cleanup oil spills

    Purdue University researchers developed a new type of membrane which may be used to clean up oil spills such as BP’s massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico; the technology could be used for a variety of other applications, including water purification and industrial uses

  • 2010 hurricane season unusually active

    As if the on-going oil spill were not enough, people who live near the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic should brace themselves for an unusually active hurricane season this year (the hurricane seasons lasts from 1 June to 30 November); FSU researchers say there will be an average of seventeen named storms with ten of those storms developing into hurricanes in the Atlantic this season; the historical seasonal average is eleven tropical storms with six of them becoming hurricanes