The has announced the two recipients of the , a $1.4 million competition designed to encourage the development of solutions for cleaning up seawater surface oil resulting from spills, ocean platforms, tankers, and other sources.
Selected from a pool of more than 350 applicants, Illinois-based Team Elastec/American Marine, a manufacturer of oil spill and environmental equipment, was awarded the $1 million top prize for its system, which demonstrated an ability to recover surface oil at an oil recovery rate (ORR) of 4,670 gallons per minute and with an oil recovery efficiency (ORE) of 89.5 percent. Team NOFI of Tromsø, Norway, received the $300,000 second-place prize for its system, which recovered oil at an average ORR of 2,712 gallons per minute and with an average ORE of 83 percent. The $100,000 third place prize was not awarded.
Sponsored by the , a private family foundation that works to advance the development of clean energy and support the wiser use of natural resources, the challenge, the fourth competition announced by the X Prize Foundation, was launched in July 2010 on the heels of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. In May, ten finalist teams were selected to demonstrate their cleanup systems to an experienced panel of judges during rigorous field-testing at , the National Oil Spill Response Research and Renewable Energy Test Facility in Leonardo, New Jersey.
"We are grateful for the enormous efforts of all the participants," said X PRIZE Foundation chairman and CEO Peter H. Diamandis. "What these teams were able to accomplish is truly remarkable and will have a significant impact on future oil cleanup efforts and better protect our ocean ecosystems and economies."