Vor-Tek

Competition Results: 
Combined MEAN ORR Combined MEAN ORE CALM MEAN ORR CALM MEAN ORE WAVE MEAN ORR WAVE MEAN ORE
2269 57.3% 3014 72.1% 1525 42.5%

ORR = Oil recovery rate in gallons per minute
ORE = Oil recover efficiency in percentage of oil to water collected
Full competition results available here

Team Leader Bio: 
Ashley Day is an entrepreneur with over 12 years of management and product development experience in the materials recycling industry. He is the co-founder of a successful start-up company which brought new technologies and processes into the scrap recycling industry. Through specialized designs and state-of-the art technologies, he has helped pioneer new and innovative approaches to materials handling and sustainable recycling which is currently being utilized around the world. He is currently the CEO and founder of Vor-Tek Recovery Solutions LLC, which is a company based in Southern California and is focused on new technology development and recovery methods for marine based applications suited for oil spill and marine plastics recovery. He attended San Jose State University and the University of Denver, where he studied International Business and played basketball. Upon his completion at the University of Denver he pursued a professional basketball career for several years before embarking on a new career in the environmental recycling industry. Ashley is from Carmel, Ca. and currently resides in Anaheim, Ca.
Team Story: 

The vision came to life in 2007 when news of the Pacific Garbage Patch reached new heights in exposing and addressing the harmful effects of marine debris in the world's gyres to the sea life, eco-systems and ultimately to our food chain.

The drive behind our passion was to create a shift through technological ideas and innovations to inspire the development of technology aimed to rehabilitate and protect our oceans and waterways. Environmental institutions, universities, private sector investors etc… have spent millions of dollars and resources in studying the ocean floor and animal research, though few have put the same efforts towards developing technologies and processes to clean and remediate our oceans from trash and toxic pollutants. "Innovation through Inspiration" soon became our slogan, as we began to take ingenuity to new levels by harnessing one's artistic ability matched with engineering and vision, to pioneer new ways in developing technologies in approaching one of the oceans' uncharted and unsolved problems: marine pollution.

Our first innovation intended to capture marine plastics was dubbed the Marine Particle Skimmer (MPS) system. A passive and environmentally safe system which, in farms, collects small, hazardous plastic particles from the open ocean to be recycled into raw materials. The MPS system also evolved into a system that could collect various sizes of particles from larger debris to fine micro-pollution. With Ashley's vast network of key individuals throughout the recycling and manufacturing industries, he was able to spread the word of the MPS system in the attempt develop it into a successful operation. During this time of networking BP had its unfortunate accident, which not only caused an immeasurable amount of damage but also attracted attention to the MPS project for its potential ability to collect oil. After being questioned on the MPS' ability to possibly help in situations such as spills, the team immediately got to work to modify the MPS to work in an open water scenario

For high efficiency, low environmental impact surface collection. Thus the Emergency Extraction Line (EEL) system was born. Since then, the EEL project has taken the lead in our design process and has itself evolved into an immediate response system that we believe has the potential to dwarf all other oil spill response systems in the categories of response time, capture rate and versatility.

All of our financial backing and funding through this entire project has been entirely done on our own, though we are currently seeking outside investment. We are very excited for the chance to be able to test our system in the X PRIZE arena and gain considerable exposure for our technology as this opportunity will allow us to prove once again that with creativity, environmental passion and hard work, anyone can succeed.

Watch our video here.

Technology: 
The primary purpose of the EEL, which is capable of surrounding large areas, is to extract oil/water mixtures into boats or barges for further separation. It functions not only as a containment boom/barrier but also as an effective integrated extraction line capable of removing contaminants (oil) from water for processing through specialized separation systems. The EEL system primarily can be described as a segmented oil boom that doubles as a high efficiency induction line capable of trapping and siphoning hazardous waste from surface and sub surface water. The system works in concert with the most current state of the art pumps and the latest oil/water separators current technology has to offer. The EEL system is a green technology and does not use burning or any chemicals for extraction.
Team Quote: 
"The real cure for our environmental problems is to understand that our job is to salvage Mother Nature. ‘We are facing a formidable enemy in this field...Mankind has probably done more damage to the Earth in the 20th century than in all of previous human history’. - Jacques Yves Cousteau. This is a powerful quote that has inspired us to take action in ocean projects to make a difference through technological means. The X PRIZE is a wonderful opportunity for companies to innovate and find solutions for a an industry that greatly needs solutions to large scale problems. "
Team Leader: 
Ashley Day
Team Location: 
USA (CA / NV)
Team Members: 
Fred Giovannitti
Dan Creighton
Ryan Njavro
Greg Cicero
Cliff Newbie (Engineer)
Competition Video: