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Answering a Burning Question

When an oil spill occurs in open water, fire can be the most effective tool for cleaning it quickly before the oil can settle into the water column and cause ecological damage. But experience with open-water oil fires has shown that they can be difficult to sustain, produce thick smoke, and leave behind a tar-like residue that can harm marine life. A team of researchers from Worcester Polytechnic Institute has developed a new technology that promises to overcome these shortcomings while also significantly accelerating the clean-up process. This simple and inexpensive technology was recently field tested with the United States Coast Guard and the Bureau of Environmental Enforcement.

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