Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Curtain-Wall Riser

this half-mindful banter
  [vote for,

The idea is to set up a tension-leg offshore platform with the anchors on the seafloor surrounding the leak. Then, four curtains (one per side, and each as wide as an edge of the platform) are unreeled and the edges fastened together as it is lowered. At the bottom of the curtain, small anchors at regular intervals hold it in place.

The resulting 'riser' is so wide that it won't ice up - any gas hydrates (clathrates) that do stick to the sides will clump up and break off as the curtain sways in the currents, and continue to rise. At the surface, a lake of oil is contained in the curtain perimeter, and hydrates are warmed and melted.

Of course, the gas would have to be dealt with or this idea would be called 'Lake of Fire'... but an inflatable dome covering on the 'lake' would do the trick.

The oil depth would be kept to a minimum to avoid any big pressure differentials across the curtains.

afinehowdoyoudo, Jun 18 2010

Another sketcheroo http://www.google.c...76281269136860#buzz
[afinehowdoyoudo, Jun 18 2010]


       It's a lot of reinforced tarp material, but oil is an expensive business - even more so when shit fucks up as bad as it has.
afinehowdoyoudo, Jun 18 2010

       [+] but that's four mile-long curtains... apart from having to balance the weight (because there's no way anything is going to hold it's own weight a mile long), you'd probably need electric motors at intervals to keep it still against the ocean current. so more like those deployable fire-escape chutes.
FlyingToaster, Jun 18 2010

       I'm sorry if I sound a tad uncaring, but damn. These oil ideas: nobody freakin' knows! You really can't predict the behavior of common materials 4600 feet below sea level. It's all drivel in my mind. Isn't there some way we can avoid this half-mindful banter in favor of something more realistic?   

       Oh right. It's the halfbakery... Carry on, then. :)
daseva, Jun 19 2010

       //You really can't predict the behavior of common materials 4600 feet below sea level.//
yeah so let's drill a big hole another few miles long down there.
FlyingToaster, Jun 19 2010

       I really don't understand your point, [FT]. I didn't say make another hole. Maybe I'm saying we shoulda stayed outta there as far back as the 70s.
daseva, Jun 19 2010

       My sarcasm was generic and not directed at you.
FlyingToaster, Jun 19 2010

       I think (a meterial with) canvas(like properties) would be the way to go, rather than metal, which is too heavy and not bendy: 20 x 300ft long sections of 100ft diameter superhose. Bouyancy tanks and thruster motors at the joins.
FlyingToaster, Jun 19 2010

       Of course that was BP's problem from the beginning. They'll have to pay a fine of four thousand per barrel so they lied and stuck a pipe the size of a straw on the well. Should have worked for 5k barrels a day (the lie) but of course it was far more than that, and full of chunky clathrate. So a ten foot fabric tube that leads to the surface, that's all they needed. The twits.
ldischler, Jun 19 2010

       The properties of solid materials at a depth of 5000 feet are unchanged. The stress on the materials is just the combined stress of the hydraulic pressure and whatever load is applied. 2500 psi of compression is not a lot in that sense.   

       \ten foot\ wide would be a lot more practical than the monster i sketched... but the-bigger-the- better in terms of warding off Murphy and his pesky Law.   

       It would need spacers to keep the tube from collapsing under the pressure of ocean currents. A square frame with cable clamps at each corner, every 50 or 100 feet. The spacers could have some bouyancy to balance the weight of the riser 'string'.   

       In construction-worker terms, this could be described as "hoarding it in" - i.e. building a scaffold around the thing and covering that with tarps. Above-ground, it's usually to protect the thing from the elements and create a space to work in and/or deliver air for climate control. In this case it would be to protect the elements from the thing and create a space for the conduit of oil and clathrates.
afinehowdoyoudo, Jul 01 2010

       So, to satisfy my conscience I sent this idea to the officials. Got a standard FOAD letter in reply. Now that I am absolved of responsibility, let me go drive somewhere.
afinehowdoyoudo, Jul 02 2010

       I was convinced it would work, until I gave it more thought. This would only handle a very small pressure difference between the inside and outside of the riser at any given height. If oil were to clump up in a section, the difference in density between oil and water would lead to a pressure difference at a rate of about 0.1 psi per foot of height. Even if oil did not form a contiguous plug in the riser, the clumps of oil pushing upwards could cause the overall column to behave like a liquid with a density intermediate between oil and water. The only way it might work is if the cross-section area of the riser was very large, and the rising oil plume was very small in comparison (I think).
afinehowdoyoudo, Jul 23 2010


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