My Solution to the Gulf Oil Disaster: Sequestering the Oil INSIDE Floating Tubes

When life give you lemons, you really should make lemonade. In this case, we’re getting lots of black goo, and so we should make… goo sausages! Allow me to explain. I’m not talking about booms…

After reading this, today, I’m leaning towards believing that the oil flow will not be stopped, not until whatever underground cavern it’s tapping is mostly emptied. So, the question becomes, what to do with all that oil?

My answer is to basically store it in balloons, which are made of the ‘same’ material used to create inflatable buildings. (Yes, there really are such things. Back in the day, the ‘Busch Bubble’ housed a gymnasium for Rutgers University.)

These balloons would be long, tube shaped affairs. To minimize damage from leaks, like sausage, they’d be pinched off every 100 yards, or so. Because the oil+water mixture would be less dense than just water, these tubes would float. They would thus constitute de facto barges, which could be towed towards the shore, and processed as facilities at the shore allowed.

OK, I don’t know how robust current inflatable materials are, and how they would handle both the corrosion from whatever chemicals are in the oil goo, plus I don’t know what temperature the oil is at – if an article I read is correct, it may be 400 deg. at it’s source. So, if the inflatable tubing material can’t handle whatever temperature would be involved with no cooling, then it will have to be cooled.  Fortunately, there’s lots of water around to passively cool the oil goo….

If the oil-filled tubes pile up at shore facilities, to protect them during hurricanes and other major storms, some concrete walls may have to be dropped into the sea, ballast added, and the tubes sunk into the channels between the concrete walls.

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  1. tried to put a sausage casing into a bathtub full of cotton candy floating on and in the water, pinching it off every few inches, reeling in the sausage casing full of the resulting water and cotton candy mixture, and then seeing how effective it is at ridding the water of cotton candy, eh?  Or ever contemplated doing it, perhaps.  Still, it might be a useful experiment to undertake.  If you’re into that sort of thing.

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