Oil spills are not only
environmentally harmful but also very expensive to clean. As with
human nature “what we can’t see won’t hurt us” – most financial
resources used for oil spills is incurred when oil hits shoreline.
The EPA estimates over US$1.47 billion is spent annually on oil
spill clean up, with nearly 90% of the budget used for the
shoreline cleanup and still water containment.
INFITECH’s focus with the “hot wax”
technology is at the sweet-spot of oil spill cleanup, as the
technology has competitive advantages for these applications:
1. Shoreline cleanup and
2. Still/calm water containment
Jurisdictionally, the welfare of the
environment is headed by federal or state governments, with an
oversight role for a state overseeing agency (i.e. EPA). The
industry is therefore relatively concentrated and purchasing
decisions are based on a best-practices approach.
INFITECH’s technology’s ability to
adhere to any oil whether it is floating or stuck in between a
crevice make it ideal to tackle the shoreline cleanup and
still/water containment markets.
Shoreline Cleanup: Shoreline cleanup
is the most difficult and arduous of tasks when it comes to oil
spills. The oil covers sand, rocks, and seeps into crevices
beneath the surface. Because the shoreline is usually the closest
point of contact for people – it also poises the greatest risk.
Therefore it is logical that 80% of all funding is used to collect
the oil. Current methodologies include absorbents, hot water
sprays, boons, and towels. These methods are not efficient in
terms of cost and labour, but more importantly, does not clean the
sub-surface, where most of the oil resides.
The “hot wax” technology reduces
operating expenses by replacing costlier and less efficient
methods aforementioned with one simple to apply technology that
can reach crevices and difficult places owing to it's liquid
mobility unlike competing products. The “hot wax” is sprayed with a
normal garden hose in liquid form, then solidifies and then
manually removed for disposal or recycling. This technology has
been tested by and been given accolades by Environment Canada and
the United States Navy.
Still/calm water containment: Oil
spills occurring in the open sea are rarely reported and seldom
cleaned. On the other hand, spills on still water (i.e. estuaries,
lakes, bays, etc…) warrant much greater resources due to its
proximity to land and people. Currently, there is not one clear
method which can be applied. Absorbents, skimmers, and boons are
the favorite response types. They are however sorely effective
and prohibitively expensive because they involve a good deal of
technical dexterity and the presence of the needed equipment.
The universality and affordability of
the “hot wax” allows it to be stationed in convenient places. This
proximity allows for faster response times and significant savings
for the end users.