So, here’s the news story: http://jalopnik.com/5565816/bp-purchases-32-of-kevin-costners-oil+water-separation-machines
And here are my back-of-the-envelope calculations:
It can clean up 200 gallons of water per minute, per machine. Any back-of-the-envelope calculations of the total volume of water in the Gulf, or even just the affected areas? Even if it were only a billion gallons, which is nothing (about 4.5 million cubic metres, or about 0.0045 cubic km), it would *still* take the 32 machines… about 17 years.
And, a little later:
Current surface area of the spill, about 6,500 sq km. Even if the affected water is only a metre deep that’s still 6.5 cubic km… 1444 times my estimate above.
Call it 24 and a half thousand years.
There may be a solution – but not one that will avert devestation – but this sure ain’t it.