RECOVERY OF OIL SPILLS USING VORTEX ASSISTED AIRLIFT SYSTEM

Studies were conducted to determine the feasibility of a concept for recovery of floating oil slicks which utilizes a pump induced vortex and a vacuum suction or Coanda nozzle. The apparatus used for developmental experimentation comprised a pumping system for vortex production, a large water basin, a flapper type wave generator, and several configurations of the experimental assembly. The range of influence was smaller than was anticipated. Approximately a 25-foot influence diameter was achieved for the maximum strength vortex generated in this apparatus. Extrapolation of measured performance data showed a 1/8 inch thick slick could be recovered at the rate of 960 gallons per hour. Experiments with and without a variety of oils showed that enhanced oil recovery rates with the vortex was due entirely to the surface current generated by the vortex. This effect was found to improve oil recovery by a factor of 7.9 above the rates achieved with a suction nozzle alone. The surface position of the vortex cavity was found to be sensitive to surface waves. The cavity moved in a circular path within three vortex cavity radii of the still water cavity location as a wave passed through the assembly. Tests with a Coanda nozzle (a fluid attachment eductor) showed improved performance in surface waves. However, the recovered oil-water mixture was highly emulsified. (Author)

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Water Pollution Control Research Series.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

    3180 George Washington Way
    Richland, WA  USA  99354
  • Authors:
    • Walkup, P C
    • Smith, J D
    • Simonson, E R
  • Publication Date: 1970-7

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00025618
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Contract Numbers: EPA-14-12-513
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 11 1973 12:00AM