A self-propelled catamaran oil skimmer developed by the USCG capable of recovering oil from a water's surface was tested at the U.S. EPA OHMSETT facility. The skimmer employed an endless composite sorbent belt processed between the catamaran hulls to recover oil. The tests were designed to determine the effect that various parameters (skimmer speed, oil viscosity, oil thickness, wave conditions, etc.) have upon oil recovery performance. The skimmer was towed through oil slicks at various speeds in different wave conditions as it was operated to collect oil. The collected fluid was quantitatively analyzed to determine the device's oil-to-water recovery ratio (recovery efficiency), oil recovery rate and thoroughness of slick removal (throughput efficiency). The device proved capable of good throughput efficiency in all wave conditions (up to 0.7 m confused seas) at all the tow speeds tested (1 to 6 knots). Throughput efficiencies of 80 to 90% in calm water were common with all the oils tested. The performance of the full-scale skimmer agreed well with the results from the smaller prototype tested in 1976. The successful development of this skimmer provides a significant advance in oil spill recovery capability and technology. The concept used in this oil skimmer can be employed at speeds greater than those tested. Two oil slick converging systems were tested with the skimmer to effectively double the sweep width of the skimmer. Additional tests were conducted to determine vessel resistance and motion in waves and to assess the buildup of potentially explosive vapors within the oil recovery system. (Author)

  • Corporate Authors:

    Environmental Protection Agency

    Ohmsett Test Facility
    Leonardo, NJ  United States 

    United States Coast Guard

    2100 Second Street, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20593
  • Authors:
    • Breslin, M K
  • Publication Date: 1980-6

Media Info

  • Pagination: 156 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00326233
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: USCG-D-42-80 Final Rpt.
  • Contract Numbers: DOT-CG-842702-A
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 11 1981 12:00AM