As we’ve reported in earlier articles, BP has been trying to contain a portion of the oil that’s been leaking into the Gulf of Mexico in what is being called the biggest oil spill in US history. Even though they’re collecting it, they aren’t sure what the heck to do with all of it. One idea? How about burning it using a device (very ironically) called an EverGreen Burner? We can’t say that we’ve done much research into setting petroleum on fire in the middle of the ocean, but it doesn’t sound like the greenest idea to us…
How would the EverGreen burner function? According to AP and Yahoo!, it “turns a flow of oil and gas into a vapor that is pushed out its 12 nozzles and burned without creating visible smoke.” The apparatus, which is made by Schlumberger Ltd. would be housed on a “burn rig” or floating platform on the ocean. Of the plan, BP spokesman Max McGahan said, “The burn rig will be moved away from the main leak site so the flames and heat do not endanger other vessels.”
Though EverGreen is marketed as being smokeless, environmental documents produced as part of an earlier proposal to use the rig in the North Sea said burning the oil posed “a moderate risk to the environment” that would release sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, methane and other chemicals. And Wilma Subra, a chemist with the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, says burning the oil raises new health risks. Yeah, we really hope BP changes their minds on this one, and starts using some of the other promising ideas we’ve seen that don’t involve a bunch of chemicals floating into the air we breathe.