Innovative use of wool as an oil spill solution

An article in the Economist (Sept 3, 2011) describes a businessman in a wool fabric producing region of Italy who have experimented with the use of wool to soak up oil from oil spills. Their tests show that coarse wool can soak up 10 times its weight, and, after the oil is squeezed out, be reused several times. A patented system to use wool soak up oil spills in the ocean has been developed.  The resulting system would have cleared up the Deepwater spill in the US at a fraction of the cost. Is this the kind of innovative deployment of skills that will save jobs in Italian artisan focused towns ? Should the Italian govt or the EU subsidize the research for such ideas as an investment for growth ? What is the appropriate role for the oil producing companies in nurturing such innovative solutions ?

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About aviyer2010

Professor
This entry was posted in Global Contexts, Operations Management, Supply Chain Issues, Sustainability and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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