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The Tale of Two Skimmers

Media, News, Oil Skimmers
Elastec X30 grooved disc skimmer

It all started with the desire to increase mechanical recovery capacities along with the ability to recover oils with various viscosities. Elastec collaborated with the University of California’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management Opens in a new window to develop the patented Grooved Oil Skimming Technology. Ten years ago, they applied the technology to their smooth drum skimmers and developed the Magnum 200.

After the Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010, Elastec added the Grooved Oil Skimming Technology to oleophilic discs and won the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE. Since then, Elastec has applied its award-winning grooved disc skimmer technology to a series of new skimmers. The latest is the X30 Grooved Disc Cassette prototype for the collection of light oils that can perform in stationery and advancing modes from the bow or the side of a vessel.

Technical representatives from Elastec came to Ohmsett in June to not only test the performance of the X30, but to determine the nameplate recovery rate and corresponding recovery efficiency of the Magnum 200.

According to Jeff Cantrell, CEO of Elastec, the objectives were to test the recovery rate and efficiency of the Elastec X30 Grooved Disc Cassette for light oil in advancing mode, up to two knots, and to determine its performance in high currents.

Fortunately for the Delaware Bay and River Cooperative, the X30 was found suitable as a possible addition to their skimmer inventory. “We wanted to take advantage of the Elastec’s grooved disk technology that won the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE,” stated CEO Rich Gaudiosi. “Our bow collectors are brushes for heavier oils. With the increased transportation of lighter oils in our Area of Interest, we needed to add an advancing light oil skimmer to our inventory. The X30 is more efficient at recovering light oils than our current brush bow collector skimmer.”

During the evaluation, the X30 bow skimmer was attached to the Ohmsett main bridge and towed in the tank. The Elastec team anxiously observed the oil flowing into the skimmer sump with the hope that the results were what they anticipated – a high recovery rate with very little water.

“We were very pleased with the results, considering the nature of light oils. They spread faster than heavier oils,” said Cantrell. “The results verified our objective to develop a commercial X30 Grooved Disc Cassette as a light oil mechanical recovery option to augment heavy oil brush skimmers.”

Additionally, tests were performed on the Magnum 200 drum skimmer according to the ASTM F2709 Standard Test Method for Determining a Measured Nameplate Recovery Rate of Stationary Oil Skimmer Systems Opens in a new window. It was anticipated the skimmer could achieve a recovery rate in the 400 gpm range. Using an ASTM Category I oil, the skimming system was placed in a boomed area of the Ohmsett Opens in a new window tank and evaluated during a series of three repeatable tests.

“Our objective with the Magnum 200 Grooved Drum skimmer was to verify that the nameplate claims we make are supported (or not supported) by conducting unbiased testing at Ohmsett,” stated Cantrell. “Elastec funds the expense of the independent testing of our products to help customers and prospective customers make informed decisions when evaluating oil skimmer systems.”

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of the Ohmsett Gazette Opens in a new window. Download a PDF