Sulu Garden Foundation, Inc. has developed a novel non-toxic technology to address Philippines' oil spill

March 20, 2023

The sinking of the vessel MT Princess Empress on February 28, 2023, and the subsequent release of 900,000 liters of industrial fuel into the waters of the province of Oriental Mindoro poses a grave ecological and economic threat to many islands in the Philippines. The Philippine-based Sulu Garden Foundation (SGF), in partnership with Poseidon Sciences and Applied Minerals, Inc. (Eureka, UT, USA), has developed an environmentally friendly sorbent (a substance that collects molecules of another substance by sorption) technology that will significantly mitigate the ecological damage of the slowly expanding oil spill.

The technology, Nereid 990, is a non-toxic, proprietary blend of aluminosilicates that can be mobilized quickly to areas impacted by oil spills. Nereid 990 has been shown to effectively absorb oil and facilitate its breakdown, minimizing the adverse ecological impact on the marine environment. 

Nereid 990 is a more environmentally friendly option than dispersants and, unlike dispersants, it can also be applied to mangroves and shorelines. This technology was originally developed in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico (USA). 

Clump of oil about to sink due to the clay’s absorption of the oil.

SGF’s Chairman, Jonathan R. Matias, remarked: “Poseidon and Applied Minerals, in conjunction with SFG’s research team, have rapidly completed laboratory and controlled semi-field experiments using oil spill samples from Semirara Island in Antique Province and the waters of Mindoro provided by the team of Atty. Carmelo Nochete (Regional Director, Region VI of the Department of Social Welfare and Development) to SGF in support of the ongoing research and development. A larger field validation trial is being planned during the first week of April.” 

Christopher Carney, CEO of Applied Minerals, Inc. added: “We are pleased to be part of this effort. We believe this clay-based sorbent technology can be an effective tool for the Philippine Coast Guard to both contain and remediate the MT Princess Empress oil spill and address oil spills that may occur in the future.”

Left: Clumps of oil about to go down. Right: oil particles sinking to the bottom. Click the photo to see the full image.

Demonstration of the sorbent sorbing the sample oil from Semirara Island and making clumps sink to the bottom of a tank with 1 tonne of seawater.

A field test on the actual oil spill-affected sites is currently in the works, and SGF will be coordinating with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to conduct the activity in Oriental Mindoro.

Check out website: sulugardenfoundation.org and our YouTube channel: Sulu Garden Foundation for more information.

For more information, contact:

 

Norielle G. Diamante

Senior Science Officer

info@sulugardenfoundation.org

Mobile number: +63 939 076 9934

Let us keep helping

We need your donations to keep helping the community in Miagao.