With all the technology out there it boggles my mind that a company that knows how to go and GET the oil, doesn't seem to have a clue on how to stop it from billowing into the Gulf a month after the worst ecological disaster this country has ever seen.
BP has set up a telephone hotline asking for ideas on how to stop the massive oil leakage, yet they have not used one, NOT ONE idea that has been submitted. Well here are two ideas that I think BP should really take a close look at. I mean really, something is better than nothing!
And while BP's engineers can't stop the gushing oil spill, a young genius from Long Island says she found the solution in less time than it takes most people to finish a crossword puzzle. Since the "top kill," "junk shot" and "top hat" techniques failed to end the environmental nightmare, Alia Sabur -- who started her engineering Ph.D. at age 14 -- is pushing for a more radical idea.
The Northport native, who started reading before she could walk and who at 18 broke a 300-year-old record to become the youngest-ever college professor, proposes surrounding a pipe with deflated automobile tires, inserting it into the leaking riser, and then inflating the wheels to form a seal.
She calls the plan the "seabed retread." "It's not completely out there, considering that tires are used for everything and they're expected to withstand a lot," Sabur, 21, told The Post. The idea came to her while watching television reports of the failed attempts to plug the hole last week, she said. And she had it all worked out in a just a few minutes, sketching it out on paper. "I can't believe that at this point, with all our technology, that something like this can happen and devastate an entire area," she said. "Even at the smallest estimate, it's still a lot of oil."
Since BP's Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20, more than 40 million gallons of crude have spilled into the Gulf. Sabur, who is finishing her doctorate in engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia, said it frustrated her that none of BP's solutions seemed to have any success.
"This was a thought experiment," she said. "They tried covering it and now they're trying to block it, and it seems they are trying things that go on it or around it.
"I started thinking of something that goes inside it." The tires might not be able to fully inflate inside the pipe, but the resulting seal would be able to stem the flow of oil and redirect it into a new pipe, she said. A valve in the pipe could be closed to block the oil or open to allow it to flow, presumably to a ship on the surface. Sabur admitted that she's not certain the inflated tires would be enough to hold the new pipe in place. "But if it works, then it might be possible to then put something on top of it -- to brace the inserted pipe -- to do something more permanent," she said. "Obviously, I hope that what they're doing now works. It's just absolutely terrible."
And my second submission:
What ideas do you have?