When filming his critically acclaimed documentary Waterworld, Kevin Costner became interested in cost-effective technologies for separating oil from water (such as in the aftermath of an oil spill). Today, he appeared in front of a House committee to drum up interest in the oil-water separator he's been developing over the years in partnership with Louisiana's Ocean Therapy Solutions. It is claimed that the device can process some two-hundred gallons of water a minute, using a centrifuge processing technology that sucks in polluted water, separates the oil, and stores it in a tanker before sending the water itself (now some 99.9 percent purified) back into the gulf. (A company called Enviro Voraxial has a machine that relies on a different technology to process some 500 gallons per minute, which BP is also looking into.) BP has reportedly ordered thirty-two of Costner's machines for testing, although it will be a matter of time before it's determined whether they do the job safely enough to aid in the gulf clean-up effort. What can we say? Our man's come along way since he starred in Sizzle Beach, USA.

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Kevin Costner sells 32 oil-water separators to BP, testifies before congress