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Winner of Million-Dollar X Challenge Cleans Up Oil Spills Three Times Better Than Existing Tech

Media, News, Oil Skimmers, Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE
Team Elastec - Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE

The following excerpt was published by Popular Science by Rebecca Boyle and Clay Dillow in October of 2011.

A veteran of oil spill cleanup, this Illinois‐based team built a new grooved-disc skimmer that improves on its existing technologies. According to the company, their first eureka moment came by accident: While working on a small oil spill several years ago, Donnie Wilson asked colleague Jeff Cantrell to throw him a 5-gallon bucket. The wind caught it and it fell into the oil slick, where it started to spin. The two noticed that the oil stuck to the side of the bucket, and their barrel skimmer was born. The company also makes fire-resistant booms, which were used to skim and burn oil recovered in the Deepwater Horizon aftermath. Elastec tested a new skimmer design in the X Challenge, a product it was already building after three years of testing and development. The grooved disc has some of the highest recovery rates of any skimmer, according to the company. (Read the full article on Popular Science.)