Friday, February 24, 2006

Cleaning Oil Spills with Old Water Sachets...

-- a Nigerian chemical engineer.

Tucked away in a Nigerian newspaper, The BusinessDay, is an article on a research that states materials developed from used water sachets (used "pure water" sachets, using the local palance) can be usewd to absorb spilled crude oil in large quantities.

"The materials in form of wafers, granules or powder and packaged in pillow-like forms could be used to absorb the oil spill. The materials can then be removed hours later to another location where the crude oil is squeezed out of them. The oil can still be recovered, and the 'oil-sorbing' material is reusable."
The inventor, Professor Sulyman Abdulkareem, a chemical engineer at University of Ilorin states the materials can absorb as much as 100,000 gallons spilled oil.

If this is indeed true, then its a major discovery given the frequent oil spills in the oil-rich Niger-Delta. Oil spills have led to serious environmental pollution and degradation in this region.

Oil spillage and the various consequences of oil exploration have been widely discussed in the Nigerian blogoshere. About a decade back, the renowned playright, author and an indigene of the Niger-Delta, Ken Saro Wiwa and eight other activists were executed by the government of Gen Abacha for campaigning against the devastation of the Niger Delta.

Just today, a Nigerian Federal High Court upheld an earlier fine on Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil company and a major player in the delta, to pay $1.5 billion (£859m) compensation to the Ijaw people of the Bayelsa region for environmental damages.

"The Ijaw were first made the award in 2000 for environmental damage to their homeland in the Niger Delta through Shell’s oil exploration. Shell refused to pay and has since been targeted by Ijaw militants who have attacked the company’s facilities in Nigeria and are currently holding nine foreign oil workers hostage."--London Times.

Read more about environmental degradation and oil exploration in the Niger-Delta at Grandiose Parlor, and these Blogs: Black Looks, and Chippla's Weblog.