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Announcement: The Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Challenge

What is the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE?

The Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE is a $1.4 Million competition designed to inspire a new generation of innovative solutions that will speed the pace of cleaning up seawater surface oil resulting from spillage from ocean platforms, tankers, and other sources. This one year competition will culminate in the fall of 2011, with competitive demonstrations taking place at OHMSETT, the National Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility. A $1.4 Million Prize will be awarded to the teams that demonstrate the ability to recover oil on the sea surface at the highest Oil Recovery Rate (ORR) of over 2,500 GPM with an Oil Recovery Efficiency (ORE) of more than 70%.

This X-Challenge focuses on ocean surface cleanup:

Oil spills have serious effects on marine life, both through physical contact and toxic contamination, destroying vital plankton and fish, harming seabirds, sea mammals as well as shoreline ecosystems. While the negative effects of on oil spill may eventually fade away, in many cases it takes several years, even decades, before an area or ecosystem has fully recovered from a spill that caused extensive damage.

The Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE is specifically focusing on surface oil because we believe that in order to minimize the environmental impact of all oil spills, including those from land drainage and waste disposal, offshore drilling and production spills, and spills or leaks from ships or tankers, we must capture the oil at the spill site. Once the oil hits the shore or is weathered on the sea surface, much damage has been done. We must have the technologies necessary to stop surface oil spills at the spill site.

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