Different Types of Oil Skimmers

Oil skimmers are devices that separate oil from water in order for it to be collected for the purposes of recovery or remediation. There are many different types of oil skimmers on the market. They can skim oil through a variety of technologies including oleophilic materials, brushes, belts, ropes, and weirs. Skimmers can be installed in two different ways, either floating or fixed/mounted. Elastec manufactures some of the most efficient oil spill skimmer systems in the world. They are performance tested at Ohmsett, one of the largest oil spill testing facilities in the world. It is located at the Naval Weapons Station Earle Waterfront in the United States. Ohmsett follows the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard F-2709-08 Standard Test Method for Determining Nameplate Recovery Rate of Stationary Oil Skimmer Systems.

Floating Oil Skimmers Floating oil skimmers float on the surface of the water and can be held in a location with lines or be deployed from or towed by a vessel. These skimmers generally include drum skimmers, brush skimmers, weir skimmers, and some belt skimmers.

Fixed Oil Skimmers Fixed oil skimmers are installed in a permanent location. These skimmers generally include many types of belt or rope skimmers. They are typically installed in oil tanks used in a manufacturing application.

weir skimmer

Weir Skimmers

Weir skimmers operate by taking the surface layer off the water. Oil flows into the central hopper where it’s pumped to storage. Stainless steel weir skimmers may be used in industrial tanks and ponds where chemicals and acids may be present. Elastec Weir Skimmers are self-adjusting. These self-adjusting weirs are a great advancement over the early weir skimmer that relied on mechanical means to adjust the weir height / depth of skim. These affordable, high-capacity skimmers can skim any oil that will float and flow over the weir. They may be deployed in rivers, lakes, moon pools, tanks, pits, and lagoons, as well as the open ocean. Their unique design keeps draft to a minimum. Learn more about Elastec Weir Skimmers

How drum skimmers work

Drum Skimmers

Elastec pioneered the oleophilic drum oil skimmer in 1990. It is regarded as one of the most efficient oil recovery skimmers in the world. Our drum skimmers are easy to operate, reliable and efficient, recovering only oil and very little water. As the floating drums rotate, oil adheres to the surface separating it from the water. Wiper blades (scrapers) remove the oil from the drums, depositing it into the collection trough where it is pumped to a storage location. Interchangeable drum inserts (smooth, grooved, brush and disc) are available to enhance recovery rates relative to the viscosity of various oils and environments. Elastec drum skimmers are also available with either smooth or grooved drums. Grooved drums have a higher recovery rate with viscous oils, whereas smooth drums offer higher efficiency with lighter oils such as diesel. Drum skimmers are driven by air or hydraulics. Air units may be considered for use in hazardous areas and can be hooked up to a vehicle’s air brakes for operation. Learn more about Elastec Drum Skimmers

How drum skimmers work
Brush drum skimmer for oil spill response

Brush Skimmers

Brush skimmers can be configured as stand alone units, incorporated into recovery vessels or fitted on the top of weir skimmers. Stiffness and density of the bristles impacts the amount and type of oil they can recover. Softer bristles are best for light oil while stiffer bristles are better for heavy oils. Static brush skimmers operate by the bristles of the brush coming into contact with the oil where it is then scraped off for collection. A brush chain can also be used that relies on the forward motion of a vessel to recover oil. Learn more about Elastec Brush Drum Skimmers

Belt oil skimmer

Belt Skimmers

There are various types of belt oil skimmers available. Smaller models tend to have a fixed installation. The skimmers operate through the use of a belt that attracts the oil which is then scraped clean and collected in a sump or tank. FilterBelt oil skimmers use a belt with interchangeable pads for various types of oil. They can be used in both stationary and advancing modes, with or without booms. Learn more about Elastec Belt Oil Skimmers

Belt oil skimmer
Disc skimmer

Grooved Disc Skimmers

Disc oil skimmers use a series of discs instead of drums to collect oil. The Elastec patented Grooved Disc skimming technology is based on extensive research to improve oil recovery rates by modifying the geometry of oleophilic (oil-loving) surfaces. Our disc skimmers have won several awards including the Popular Mechanics 2012 Breakthrough Technology Award and the X Prize Foundation’s Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE. Learn more about Elastec Grooved Disc Skimmers

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