Nightly News   |  June 27, 2010

BP inundated with home-grown cleanup solutions

Of the more than 110,000 ideas that have been submitted so far, BP says it’s reviewed 92,000, with an estimated 320, they say, in the category of promising. NBC’s Kerry Sanders reports.

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This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

LESTER HOLT, anchor: We end tonight where we began, with the oil spill in the gulf and the question

everyone's been asking since the disaster first hit: How do you stop the leak and clean up the oil? There's no shortage of ideas, and it turns out that some of them are even good ones. Here's NBC's Kerry Sanders .

Chevron ConocoPhillips

KERRY SANDERS reporting: The world's top five oil companies can calculate to the penny how much they've spent looking for oil the past three years, more than $33 billion. How much on research to clean it up? One member of Congress said their investment in that area is paltry. Which may explain...

Unidentified Man #1: It brings the oil on top of the spool...

SANDERS: ...why backyard inventors...

Man #1: And be squeegeed off into a trough.

SANDERS: ...high school science teachers...

Unidentified Man #2: You saw how much oil was in there before, almost all of it is on here.

SANDERS: ...and opportunists...

Unidentified Man #3: Water does not go into OpFlex .

SANDERS: ...have inundated BP with their homegrown solutions. BP says more than 110,000 unsolicited ideas have come in so far. They've reviewed 92,000, and so far they say 320 fall into that category of promising.

Mr. JAMES STOVER (Aragonite Products, Inc.): The product works by binding and sequestering the oil.

SANDERS: It may look like Parmesan cheese ...

Mr. STOVER: Now we're going to simulate wind.

SANDERS: ...but this naturally occurring carbonate mineral called aragonite...

Mr. STOVER: As you can see, we've already removed approximately 80 percent of the oil from the surface.

SANDERS: ...offers hope.

Unidentified Man #4: This is 40 weight motor oil .

SANDERS: Some pitches look and sound like infomercials.

Man #4: This is Isopar M. It is nontoxic, nonhazardous, it floats on water and it binds to the oil. That is clean water .

SANDERS: Others look to nature for an answer.

Unidentified Man #5: Anything is flowing through in the water column .

SANDERS: This bubble curtain is an adaptation of how dolphins corral their food.

Man #5: It's caught up in the air bubbles.

SANDERS: The bubbles trap the oil to be skimmed later. American ingenuity from every corner of the nation, as the oil continues to wash ashore. Kerry Sanders , NBC News, Grand Isle.