GM Making Chevy Volts With Recycled Deepwater Horizon Oil Containment Booms

Talk about a genius public relations move. General Motors is making the Chevy Volt even more eco-friendly by building the newest units out of partially recycled equipment used in the fight to stop Gulf oil from spreading after the Deepwater Horizon disaster earlier this year.

Oil booms are, generally speaking, tube-shaped cylinders of netting which contain some material used to block the spread of oil. In the case of the Gulf oil leak, most of that internal material was polypropylene, an oil-absorbent plastic--and an awful lot of it was used, saturated with oil, and discarded. But GM is taking a multi-step process to recycle that plastic.

Heritage Environmental, a waste-disposal company, collects the booms, then passes the polypropylene to Mobile Fluid Recovery, which spins the material to separate the plastic from the oil and wastewater. Then Lucent Polymers treats the oil-less plastic, passes it to a GM plant which creates parts from it, and then to a GM assembly line.

Read the full story at Popular Science.

Presented by

Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What LBJ Really Said About Selma

"It's going to go from bad to worse."

Video

Does This Child Need Marijuana?

Inside a family's fight to use marijuana oils to treat epilepsy

Video

A Miniature 1950s Utopia

A reclusive artist built this idealized suburb to grapple with his painful childhood memories.

Video

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her school. Then the Internet heard her story.

More in Technology

Just In