Certified Space Products Cleaning Gulf Oil Spill
Space Foundation Space Certification partner Universal Remediation, Inc. (UniRem), of Pittsburgh, Pa., is playing a critical role in cleaning up oil in the Gulf of Mexico with its oil remediation products, BIO-BOOM® and Petroleum Remediation Product (PRP®).
BIO-BOOM® is a fabric sleeve three inches in diameter by up to 10 feet in length filled with PRP® powder. PRP® consists of tiny spheres of treated wax that "binds" with hydrocarbons, including oil. Nutrients in the sphere help microorganisms from the immediate environment flourish until they eat every droplet of oil. PRP® can absorb and remediate, over time, more than 20 times its weight.
BIO-BOOM® is used to contain the oil in a closed area. Once it is contained, the PRP® biodegrades the oil and then biodegrades itself, leaving no secondary contaminants. One BIO-BOOM® can immediately absorb from 12 to 16 pounds of oil, but can degrade much more over time.
Once PRP® adheres to the oil, even before it is biodegraded, the danger of the oil spill to water fowl is significantly reduced because the PRP® prevents oil from adhering to feathers. To see how this works, click here.
In response to the Gulf oil spill, UniRem has provided at least 500,000 feet of BIO-BOOM® and about 20 tons of PRP®. The company is now doubling production capacity of PRP® and is planning for an additional production facility in the Gulf Coast region.
UniRem Created Remediation Products from Space Research
PRP® grew out of research by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Marshall Space Flight Center in the early 1990s on orbital production of microspheres so uniformly precise they provide measurement standards for calibrating scientific and industrial equipment. In 2004, UniRem rapidly commercialized this space technology for a variety of products to treat contaminants in a wide variety of situations. Products include BIO-BOOM®, PRP®, the BIO-SOK® Bilge Maintenance System, the WellBoom groundwater monitoring system, and OIL BUSTER, a combination of PRP® and ground corncobs that absorbs and remediates oil, fuel and other hydrocarbons from hard surfaces such as concrete, asphalt or wood.
About Space Certification
The Space Foundation's Space Certification program recognizes products originally developed for space that have been improved by space utilization or are used to increase awareness or understanding of space. There are three classifications of Space Foundation Certified Products:
- Certified Technology Products - Products or services that directly results from space technology or space program development such that the product exists because of advances in space technology. To see Certified Technology Products, click here.
- Certified Educational Products - Products used in educational environments to stimulate interest and knowledge about Space. To see Certified Educational Products, click here.
- Certified Imagination Products - Toys or entertainment products used to increase interest in and excitement for space. To see Certified Imagination Products, click here.