Kentuckiana man invents product to clean up Gulf oil

Gary Hopkins
Gary Hopkins

By Rick Miller - email 
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Gary Hopkins says with a little help from his family and friends, he has invented a way to clean up the oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

"It's environmentally friendly and low cost and easy to produce, that's the beauty and attraction of the whole thing." said Hopkins. "We're gonna use ground up newspaper, cardboard – basically, just your trash. Just your common waste products that come out of your garbage. We're looking for dry fiber."

Then it goes into what Hopkins calls a sock, a plastic bag with small holes, held up by floats. The oil is lighter than water and absorbed through the perforated holes. The socks can be connected together by rope and then pulled by boats.

Hopkins says two square feet will pick up one quart of oil and with that he has the attention of BP.

"We're talking to British Petroleum and a Louisiana company as well," said Hopkins. "They loved it. I mean they've already sent us forms and we've filled out basically an inventor's interpretation of here is the answer, the solution, we showed them the math, and the formulas and the cost, and they said, 'Oh my God, I think you have it."

Hopkins is flying down to Louisiana to meet with both companies and said he has been contacted by British Petroleum four times already.

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