Magnets Could Help Fight Oil Spill, Thinks Coast Guard

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A Florida company says it has developed a scientifically proven way to stop the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico: tiny, bone-crushing magnets. And the Coast Guard seems to agree.

The theory, developed by Advanced Magnet Lab chief scientist Rainer Meinke, takes a mixture of permanent magnets and steel balls and injects them into the leaking pipe, reported The combination of magnets and steel balls form a plug that can stop the flow of leaking oil.

"If you get your thumb between two of these magnets, the forces are really so large that it can crush your bone," Meinke told MyFoxOrlando when he unveiled the concept two weeks ago.

Now Advanced Magnet Lab has shown research revealing that just a little over 2 feet of the magnet mix reduced the flow by 75 percent, reported.

"We set it up so we can pump at a rate which would be equivalent if you scaled it down to $44,000 barrels a day," said Mark Senti. The company claims that the U.S. Coast Guard is eyeing the technology -- as well as several other ideas on how to stop the spill.

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