Excerpted from my article in the Huffington Post
By far the most compelling idea I’ve heard about comes from a Michigan woman named Adria Brown. Brown’s company, Recovery I Inc
., has developed and patented a product called Golden Retriever that is designed to recover oil from water. It is made from corn cobs. Corn cobs turn out to be especially effective in this task, due to the fact that they are buoyant, and the fact that they tend to spin in moving water, which exposes their entire surface to the oil which clings readily to it. The absorption occurs quickly, and once adhered to, the cob will remain afloat without leaching, for over 24 hours allowing plenty of time for retrieval using skimmers. As an added benefit, the oil can be completely recovered by centrifuge and the cobs can be reused. Brown has been working with an extensive farm network across the Midwest, led by Feeders Grain and Supply of Corning, Iowa, to acquire the needed materials in quantity. Together, they have amassed a stockpile of close to 34,000 tons of material that is ready to be deployed to the Gulf, where it can be administered using barges, that is, as soon as someone down there asks for it. Sen. Chuck Grassley
has also been involved, helping to move the paperwork in Washington.