Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Case for MOP in the Gulf - A Thumbnail Sketch

The Case for MOP in the Gulf
A Thumbnail Sketch
Wayne D. King,
VP MOP Environmental Solutions

Here’ is a quick detailing of the capabilities and characteristics of MOP’s ™201 & ™301 Sorbents

1. Meets EPA guidelines for certification as safe in open water. Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), sections 300.5 and 300.915(g) of the National Contingency Plan. Certification letter available.

2. Available in booms and loose sorbent (5lb and 20lb)

3. MOP's Sorbent has a pickup ration of 30-1, the highest in the industry.
This means that every pound of MOP sorbent will pick up 30 lbs of oil. A container load of 1000 bags of loose sorbent will pick up 75,000 gallons of oil. Our MOP Cannon that shoots out the sorbent can deliver a full container load onto the spill in 3 hours. Directly behind the cannon we follow with a weed skimmer that picks up the oil-laden sorbent in 4 hours.

4. MOP sorbent locks up the oil in its matrix and repels water.
It will not release that oil until it is squeezed. This means that even if oil-laden sorbent reaches land, the oil is locked up in its matrix and will lie harmless on the beach until it is scooped up using skimmers and even volunteers. In other words if the oil is contained inside the MOP sorbent, it will not harm the littoral ecosystem as oil will.

5. Up to 95% of the oil can be recoverable - cleaner than it was when spilled - from the oil-laden sorbent.
The sorbent actually filters the oil when it releases it by squeezing. Now we do not know how dispersants will affect our ability to recover the oil, but we have a backup process that uses pyrolysis to convert the oil-laden MOP into hydrogen based pyrolysis oil and bio-char fertilizer that will work even if we cannot recover the oil. Furthermore without removing the oil (if a decision is made for some reason not to try and recover the resource) Oil-laden MOP sorbent can be disposed in several environmentally sustainable ways including land farming and industrial composting. It can also be pelletized for incineration or burned as it is. Finally it can be put in a landfill, although this is the least preferred of all options. The important take-away from this is that in NO CIRCUMSTANCES does it need to be treated as a hazardous substance. It is a solid waste. (unless there are hazardous chemical in the oil from the dispersants).

6. MOP Sorbents are 100% recycled materials and fully biodegradable.
So for example, should a small amount wash up on the shore and be missed by the volunteers and cleanup crews, it will bioremediate the oil and naturally biodegrade.

7. Price Stability: The materials from which the MOP sorbent is made are classified by EPA as Recovered Materials - a very high priority item for EPA -
Recovered materials are recyclable materials that have no current pathway for commercial reuse. In other words, the transfer stations get this material in; it is recyclable; but they have no market for it. We can create a fairly large market for it. However, more important than that, this is a market where raw material prices will be very stable because we are the only ones using them. This means that while others are jacking up their prices for booms and sorbent, our prices will remain steady.

8. MOP Sorbent will NEVER sink - even when fully saturated with oil.
NOAA may have some sorbents that they are basing their judgment upon that do sink, we just can't know this, but the MOP sorbent will not sink. We have had a sample sitting on water here for more than 10 years. This means that fish and underwater habitat will not be harmed because MOP will never go below the surface. In high wind conditions MOP can be deployed beneath the surface of the water, it will immediately rise to the surface, capturing any oil with which it comes in contact. Once it reaches the surface, it will never sink.

9. MOP Environmental Solutions, Inc. RESCUE Soil Cleaning Process
MOPN has recently filed a provisional patent on a process that allows us to clean oil out of sand and soil on site and very quickly. While we pray that damage to beaches will be minimal, we are prepared and equipped to take on this challenge should it be necessary.

10. Loose Sorbent is the preferred Solution because of its Efficiency. We can, and will, put our sorbent into booms and make them available, but booms by their very nature are inefficient. 1 container of our loose MOP sorbent will lock up 75,000 of oil in 3 hours. It would take over 23,000 polypropylene boom to achieve the same level of cleanup. The cost of 1 container of loose sorbent is $55,000. The cost of 23,000 booms is over $850,000. Our own booms, filled with MOP sorbent are 4 times as effective as polypropylene booms but even using them it would require more than 5,000 booms to contain the same amount of spill.

11. Using MOP Loose Sorbent and Recovering the Oil May be Marginally Profitable. At the very least it dramatically reduces the cost. If 75,000 gallons of spilled oil can be retrieved and recycled at a below market cost, of $40/barrel for example, this creates a gross profit of $65,772. Less the cost of the container, the profit is 32,772 - enough to purchase the next container or to pay for the skimmer and oil extraction equipment rental.

12. Finally, just a dose of common sense. If the oil is approaching the shore, and there is no way to stop it, wouldn't it be better to lock it up in loose sorbent that you will be able to clean up because it is floating on top of the tide pools and sand, Than to simply let the oil come ashore and damage the ecosystems? If NOAA would even just allow us to save the fragile shoreline areas by spraying the sorbent only in these areas as they are threatened, it would do a world of good.

13. MOP ™301 Sorbent has Oil consuming bacteria that speed bioremediation. In a water spill environment MOP ™301 used from the shore out into the low tide zone will permit the oil consuming bacteria to assist in the bioremediation of any oil that is missed in the cleanup.

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