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Extra help for oil stricken seabirds


June 4, 2004

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A more efficient method of removing oil from seabirds' feathers has been invented using a magnetic-cleansing technology devised by scientists at Victoria University. The kit consists of a 'portable lap mat' that provides a workspace and houses the cleaning agents required, and a 'magnetic tester' that removes the oil from the birds feathers safely and efficiently. Designed for use at the site of an oil spill, the lap map is to be made from a recycled tyre compound and coated provide petroleum resistance and increase lifespan. The edges of the mat can be clipped together to form a "bowl" where the bird can be more easily contained whilst operating and the design of the magnetic tester has been improved to allow one-handed operation.

The active component of the Seabird cleaning kit is the rare-earth iron-boron magnet contained in the magnetic tester. The tester can also be used to safely apply the iron powder that must be applied to the bird as part of the cleaning process, reducing the risk of injury to the birds compared with previous "spray-on" methods.

The cleaning kit is another innovation to emerge from the 2002 Australian Design Awards - read more about the brightest and best local ideas and inventions from the Awards in the next Print Issue of Gizmo.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
1 Comment

99.9% of the people reading this article have no idea how oil is cleaned from a bird...a little background on this process would perhaps make this article a little easier to understand.

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