WIT Press

Device For Simultaneous Recovery And Containment Of Spilled Oil From The Seawater Surface


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WIT Press


J. Rodríguez, A. Ramírez & M. Martínez


Oil spills constitute a major water pollution problem due to their impact on the environment. Such spills may be controlled through containment and recovery and some commercial systems are available to this end, some of which have been developed using mechanical methods. Some conventional equipment can recover floating oil spills while others can contain them. Recovery and containment equipment need to work in conjunction to recover and contain simultaneously. This would imply that two sets of equipment should operate at the same time. In this study, a description of a floating mechanical device for both the recovery and containment of spilled oil from the sea surface is presented. This device is made up of cylindrical sections that can be connected in series to provide a containment barrier also capable of recovering floating pollutants while the spill is being contained. Identification of the oil spill determines the number of sections required. The device can contain and recover oil spills simultaneously with or without a defined water/oil interface. If the layer of polluting agent lies in calm waters it is decanted by means of interconnected cylindrical recoverers/containers and the polluting agent is then suctioned into each section through a common vacuum line. On the other hand, if the water/oil interface is not defined due to strong waves, the polluting agent adheres to a rotary cylindrical mesh that envelops the device, inducing the flow of the floating pollutants into the recoverers/containers. In contrast to other available devices, it makes use of the suctioned oil/water energy to turn the rotary mesh. The shape and the arrangement of its constituent parts help make the device an ideal piece of light mechanical equipment. Keywords: recovery, containment, heavy surge, calm water, spilled oil.


recovery, containment, heavy surge, calm water, spilled oil.