Team Elastec, an Illinois-based veteran company in the oil spill cleanup business, developed giant grooved discs that skimmed oil more than three times better than the industry standard to capture the $1 million top prize in the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE, the X PRIZE Foundation announced today.
$1.3 million in prize money was awarded to two teams today in New York, winners of the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Challenge. The teams had demonstrated that it was possible to skim oil from the surface of water in much greater quantities and with a higher efficiency than is the current industry standard. The first place prize of $1 million when to Team Elastec of Illinois; the second place prize of $300,000 went to NOFI of Norway. The third place prize of $100,000 was not awarded, since only two teams met the X Challenge’s high standards--an oil recovery rate of at least 2,500 gallons per minute with an efficiency ratio of at least 70% oil to water.
A year and a half after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill sparked a months-long environmental crisis, experts from a cleanup company in Illinois have earned a $1 million prize for coming up with a better way to deal with future spills.
This past summer, the 10 finalists in the the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Challenge spent their days in a pool at The National Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility in New Jersey, trying to remove oil from water. The machine that did it the best--to the tune of removing 70% of oil from the sea-water surface at a rate of more than 2,500 gallons per minute--is going to win its company the $1.4 million-dollar prize.
The winners will be announced on Tuesday, but in the meantime, we have some exclusive video of what the testing process was like for two teams, Crucial and Voraxial. Watch them try to deal with an inch of floating oil in a wavy pool, below.
Ten finalist teams, chosen from more than 300 applicants, are competing in a $1.4 million Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE to prove there is a better way to clean up oil spills than the dated and ineffective technology deployed to capture the crude that gushed from the Macondo well for 87 days. Beginning in July and continuing through last week, five U.S. competitors, two each from Norway and Finland, and one from the Netherlands took turns deploying pumps, skimmers, and booms in new shapes, sizes, and configurations.
On the heels of the announcement of the winners of the MoonBots 2.0 competition, the X Prize foundation has also announced the winners of the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup Video Challenge Contest for students, associated with the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Prize.
Local 7's Stefanie Martinez is joined by Jeff Cantrell Vice President, Elastic/American Marine and Brian Orr Engineer to discuss The Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Challenge.
10 teams hard at work in contest that seeks to improve current technology
The Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE , sponsored by Wendy Schmidt, with Shell as the supporting partner, and organized by X PRIZE Foundation to help develop oil spill cleanup technology, will soon be announcing a winner
Shell is participating as a sponsor and a judge in the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE, a $1.4 million competition designed to inspire a new generation of innovative solutions for oil spill cleanup technology.