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Customer needs:

Oil companies and nonprofits need a way to efficiently clean up oil spills with minimal
environmental damage. (they have different motivations but similar needs)
We will know more about the price they are willing to pay after our survey results come in.

There are many competitors, but not very many of them are environmentally friendly. This is
where we would have an advantage. We would try to make our product relatively inexpensive
and safe to the environment.

Problem Definition:

Use ​Alcanivorax Borkumensis​ to create an oil spill cleanup tool that will leave the least
environmental damage possible.

Design Specifications (D&W List):

Personal Restrictions

D- majority of work must be able to be done at school

D- prototype must be testable on a small scale
D- getting the bacteria
W- having more time on the capstoneproject than on extra mini projects


D- must be easy to transport in large quantities

D- must increase bacteria efficiency past normal
D- must cover a large area of oil
D- must not directly harm the environment
W- keep all oil from sinking to the bottom of the ocean


W- must fit snugly with other units of the product for easy transport


D- materials must not degrade under salty and oily ocean conditions
D- bacteria must stay alive for extended periods of time
W- materials are biodegradable


W- if needed, product will use wave and/or solar energy


D- must be designed and manufactured before the end of the school year


D- total cost is less than $200-500 for a prototype

W- obtain bacteria for free from scientists who have it
W- crowdfund for necessary materials


D- must be manufactured with tools available in the classroom/easy to obtain

W- materials we need to obtain ourselves should be relatively inexpensive


D- must adhere to any Coast Guard/EPA standards regulating products and/or vessels in US


D- must add warning labels (do not ingest)

D- design must pass a safety review


D- must be able to easily fit in a truck/plane/train/etc

W- easy to store, allowing for maximum space in storage container for more


W- design workplace and bacteria storage area for maximum efficiency


D- product itself will leave no lasting damage to the ecosystem

D- more environmentally friendly than competing cleanup methods
W- will clean up all oil in designated area faster than competing methods
W- method of delivery is also environmentally friendly
W- materials used in product will not take a long time to break down after they are thrown away