Environmental Protection

Voraxial Named Finalist in X PRIZE Competition to Engineer Oil Spill Cleanup Technology

Enviro Voraxial Technology Inc. announced that its company team, Team Voraxial, will move forward to the final phase of the $1.4 million Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE. The X PRIZE Foundation designed the challenge to inspire entrepreneurs, engineers and scientists worldwide to develop innovative, rapidly deployable and efficient methods of capturing crude oil from the ocean surface. The X CHALLENGE was launched in July 2010 in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The compactness, light weight and low energy requirements of the Voraxial enables it to be installed on new vessels or retrofitted on existing vessels for oil spill response. As with other auxiliary equipment such as fire hoses, the Voraxial's small footprint allows it to be secured on such vessels as tug boats and supply vessels without interfering with the main function of the vessel. In the event of a spill, multiple Voraxial 8000 models, each capable of processing seven million gallons of oily water per day, can be retrofitted on an average-size supply vessel or tug boat, quickly converting those crafts into high-volume oil spill recovery vessels.

An average supply vessel equipped with three Voraxial 8000 Separators can capture, process and separate more than 20 million gallons of oily water per day. To put this in perspective, last year's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was estimated to have released 2.1 million gallons per day (50,000 barrels).

"We are proud to be advancing to the finals in this competition," stated Laura Di Bella, vice president of marketing and investor relations for EVTN. "We believe that the Voraxial is an integral tool for oil spill recovery and are excited that the judges at X PRIZE Foundation have validated our technology. We are obviously in it to win, but at the end of the day, the real winner will be the environment."

During Phase I of the competition, teams across the globe submitted their ideas to clean up oil spills quickly and effectively. Judges evaluated proposals based on the following criteria:

•    technical approach and commercialization plan;
•    no negative environmental impact;
•    scalability of and ability to deploy technology;
•    cost and human labor of implementation; and
•    the improvement of technology over today's baseline booms and skimmers.

The top 10 teams, including Team Voraxial, will advance to Phase II Finals, where they will demonstrate their ability to efficiently and rapidly clean up oil on the ocean surface in a head-to-head competition. These proofs of capability, which will determine the winner, will take place this summer at OHMSETT - The National Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility in New Jersey. The team that demonstrates the ability to recover oil on the sea-water surface at the highest oil recovery rate (ORR) above 2,500 gallons per minute with an oil efficiency (ORE) of greater than 70 percent will win the $1 million Grand Purse. Second place will win $300,000 and third place will win $100,000. Additionally, Shell has committed to work with the X PRIZE Foundation to involve oil industry experts and other industry leaders to promote, utilize and bring the winning technologies to market.


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