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Readers send in ideas to solve oil leak in Gulf of Mexico

Deutsche Welle readers tried to help out by sending in some possible ways to stop the oil pipe from leaking into the Gulf of Mexico. On Sunday, a temporary fix was found for the problem.

Members of the U.S. Army National Guard B Company 711 put Hesco containers along the beaches of Dauphin Island, Ala., Sunday, May 2, 2010

Readers sent in ideas to stem the flow of oil into the Gulf

The following comments reflect the views of DW-WORLD.DE readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

Oil spill efforts fail; BP calls on general public for suggestions

I was wondering why don't they crimp the leaking tube? This could be accomplished with a metal scissor using two oil compression pistons on each side. Or another possibility is to put an expansion cylinder in the leaking tube and activate the pressure when the cylinder is inside the leaking tube. Or another suggestion is to make the leaking tube so cold from the outside using, for example liquid nitrogen or helium, and this would slowly freeze the inner walls of the leaking tube until the tube would be completely frozen and then weld some round metal around the borders at the end of the leaking tube. -- Andrea , Czech Republic

Fabricate and deploy a welded, steel rod-reinforced concrete inverted funnel. It should have a slotted bottom opening for straddling the existing leaking well pipe. Connect it vertically with siphon tubing from a collection oil tanker. -- Deane , US

If you where to make a 1,000 pound arrow (as in bow and arrow) and put a high density steel umbrella device on the end and then stuff it into the pipe, the oil pressure pushing back on the arrow would cause the umbrella device to wedge itself into the pipe. Also look into patents on using plastic foam-filled jersey barriers cabled together as an oil boom. I believe they would extend high enough above the water to be more effective in high seas than what they are using. One last thing, the fishermen can install a small V-shaped boom on the bow of their boats, collect the oil and sell it back to the refinery. -- Glenn, US

There are two solutions to the oil leaking out. Either you stop the leak or divert it. There are tubes made of some kind of nylon that are used for throwing down refuse from high rises under construction. Couldn't you weigh down the bottom and place such a tube over the leak? The oil would then be diverted up through the tube to a place where it could be collected. Just a thought. -- Helen , Canada

Use a farm harvesting combine, like they use for harvesting wheat and alfalfa. Put it on pontoons and have some kind of a vacuum or suction system attached. As it cuts through the oil and water the rotating blades continually pull up the oil as it is sucked into a container. -- Victor, US

What if we drilled next to the pipe that is leaking not to redirect the oil but to plant explosives? If we dug deep enough it seems to me we could collapse the pipe and the earth around it with explosives. If we went deep enough would not the earth itself seal the leak? -- Michael , US

Since normal methods have failed, explosive experts should set up a series of shaped charges, place them in a ring on the sea floor around the well and set them off. They need to be designed to create a wedge of dirt and a shock wave to focus the wedge down and into the center so that a huge mass of sea floor dirt crushes the oil well casing and blocks off further leakage. This will probably not completely block it off but should slow it down by at least an order of magnitude. -- John , US

Is setting the spill on fire an option? -- Judi , US

Compiled by Stuart Tiffen
Editor: Nancy Isenson

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