Surface tension method of and apparatus for separating immiscible liquids

  • Inventors:
  • Assignees: Trw Inc
  • Publication Date: June 19, 1974
  • Publication Number: GB-1357138-A


1357138 Removing floating oil from water TRW Ine 28 May 1971 [29 June 1970] 17937/71 Heading B7A [Also in Divisions B1 and E1] Floating oil is removed from open water by bringing it into contact with one side of a wire mesh screen 222, the screen forming one wall of a chamber 226 previously filled with oil to wet the screen therewith, a pressure difference across the screen 222 being so controlled as to draw oil through its apertures while being insufficient to draw water through such apertures as are bridged by an oil-water interface against the surface tension thereof. A stainless steel mesh of 50 x 250 (U.S. standard) and a pressure of 2 inches water are exemplified. Fig. 9 shows apparatus adapted to float at rest or be pushed about under a pier, wherein a pump 220 induces flow of surface oil and water through annular gap 208 and wherein an oil removal pump attached to outlet 228 is controlled by differential pressure monitor 230. Figs. 10, 11 (not shown) illustrate a simpler model comprising a flexible, float supported conduit with mesh walls adapted to encircle an oil slick. In Fig. 7 several mesh screens in the form of rotating drums of star section (Fig. 8, not shown) are provided in a chamber 106 supported on catamaran hulls 104 in front of a motor driven oil receiving barge 117. The barge advances through an oil slick which is directed into the open front of chamber 106 by converging booms 114, vanes 112 stilling the wave action. Motor 134 rotates the drums so that their radial portions embrace oil globules and carry them under the surface, the oil then being drawn into the drums and discharged through manifold 144 and pump 150 into the barge 117. Pump 119 draws water from the rear of chamber 106 and discharges overboard. In Figs. 1-6 (not shown) the drums of Fig. 7 are replaced by an array of floating chambers (18), hinged together to follow wave movements and each having a screen floor. Fig. 2 illustrates how the pressure difference generated across the screen is controlled by adjusting a valve, the oil pump having a second inlet (88) through which more oil is drawn from the barge to compensate for progressive closing of the valve leading to chambers (18). Also shown is the arrangement for drawing oil from the barge to prime the chambers initially. Fig. 12 (not shown) illustrates how oil in chambers (18) may be recirculated through a heat exchanger, supplied with waste heat from the barge engine, for use in cold weather and/or with viscous oil.




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Cited By (4)

    Publication numberPublication dateAssigneeTitle
    GB-2145005-AMarch 20, 1985Joseph John Rayner, Dennis ThompsonOil-collecting vessel
    GB-2257926-AJanuary 27, 1993John Stewart Cooper, Jeffrey KitchPicking up floating material
    GB-2269329-AFebruary 09, 1994Fletcher Gerald L, Gregory Thomas FletcherApparatus for recovering oil spill
    GB-2269329-BFebruary 14, 1996Fletcher Gerald L, Gregory Thomas FletcherMethod and apparatus for recovering oil spill