Los Angeles News

Acton mine offers oil spill clean-up solution

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

A mine in Los Angeles County could prove instrumental in BP's clean-up efforts in the Gulf of Mexico. The mine contains zeolite, a volcanic rock that could be a green and effective way to soak up the oil.

Mark Troinoff of Zeotech in Acton poured oil on a chair to demonstrate the effectiveness of zeolite in cleaning it up.

Troinoff's family has mined zeolite in the canyons of Southern California for years. He believes that zeolite can do a better and safer job of sponging up the oil leaking in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana.

"It can be used as a disbursement agent. It can be sprayed in a pattern to help disperse the oil and absorb it, and then it can be vacuumed up and taken ashore," said Troinoff.

Zeolite is primarily composed of calcium, aluminum and iron. Troinoff said it is all natural and environmentally friendly.

"Zeolite is a naturally occurring product, and it has no harmful effects on the environment. It's actually a volcanic rock," described Troinoff.

Since the Deepwater BP spill more than a month ago, BP has used barrels of toxic chemicals to disperse the oil. There are reports that Louisiana fisherman helping with the clean-up effort are suffering health defects from those chemicals.

Machine shops and other companies buy Troinoff's zeolite to neutralize and absorb the oil they use. Troinoff suggested BP could use it for the same reasons.

"Its honeycomb structure is what gives it the ability to absorb and neutralize hydrocarbons and arsenic that is contained in natural occurring oil," said Troinoff.

Troinoff said that a representative from his business is talking to BP about his product. Eyewitness News placed calls to the Environmental Protection Agency but received no answer.

But Eyewitness News did speak with the Natural Resources Defense Council who said they've never heard of zeolite. They promised to take a look at zeolite as a potential product to clean up the oil in a better, safer manner.

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Tags:
british petroleum, department of justice, environment, environmental protection agency, gulf coast, gulf oil spill, oil, oil spill, president barack obama, los angeles news, leo stallworth
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