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Oil Spill Water Cleanups As Fast As They Happen

We live and survive on oil today. That dependence won’t go away for at least a few more generations. Today’s technology allows us to drill oil just about anywhere in the world, and then move it to anywhere we want using behemoth water vessels. Unfortunately, there’s a dark side to all this and it happens when our technology fails us, as periodically demonstrated by mankind’s great oil spill disasters. The most recent being the Gulf Oil Spill of 2010. The amount of oil actually dumped upon our ecosphere and contaminating the environment was mind boggling. The numbing numbers are so large that we can’t even get our minds around it. And we all know that the responsible drilling company won’t fess up to how much was really spilled because even they don’t know, don’t want to know and furthermore want to forget about it.

Is there some way to tackle this oil spill problem through the use of the very culprit that created it, namely technology? Of course there is, but it will cost the billions they used to clean up the mess they created in the first place.  We want to develop a technological process to be used worldwide that borrows from what we currently know, and clean up these oil spills almost as quickly as they happen upon our seascape.

Did we finally clean up the Gulf oil spill?  Yes, maybe? But it took too long and we either didn’t use the right equipment or not enough prepared and available equipment to check the problem. Time is probably the most critical factor involved in mitigating oil spill disasters. While Nature obviously works to clean up ecological disasters, she takes perhaps a decade or more to make a region whole again. We need to help nature accelerate her time schedule to a few weeks not decades!

Oil cleanup equipment exists that is too painstakingly slow and inefficient to get the job done quickly and effectively, and to recapture ~99% of the oil spilled. Today’s processes are makeshift, disjointed, and not organized nor designed to tackle today’s mega-proportion oil spill problems.  We need a cohesive mega-solution to handle mega-problem oil spills. A virtual army of specialists with proper equipment to attack, gather up and capture, then deliver the spilled oil to vessel staging platforms. These huge platforms will separate 99.9% of the captured oil/water, dumping the water back.  Oil tankers on standby then take this recaptured crude oil to refineries. This process must be set up with the proper equipment to dynamically proceed in real time. Only high sea states should be capable of halting its operation.

The process of oil/water cleanup requires the serial use of various sequential operations where each performs a key stage of the operatic procedure. The orchestration starts with techniques that initially yield the biggest volumetric punch first, then refines this processing by using less volumetric cleaning ability but greater oil separation capability. All the while we have deployed an improved form of today’s containment apron, capable of hundreds of miles of coverage to prevent spreading the spilled oil slick to shore.

Having researched today’s available oil spill removal systems, their usefulness has been categorized according to volumetric processing capability per time. Fast surface skimming techniques plus “huge”, constant flowing centrifugal separators clearly win, but are not 100% effective. Sponge-type, oil absorbent techniques then come to play as they are useful in nearly recapturing the remaining 0.1% oil from the water, but are slow and will be used solely on the remaining 99.99% pure water expelled from our centrifugal oil separators. Today we literally use these absorbers like sponges, dunking them into the oil slick, waiting awhile and pulling them out after they’ve absorbed some oil. Such prolonged processing times are unacceptable. Absorbers are to be used differently than today, their performance is vastly accelerated as they now act as 0.1% oil filters to process the pressurized water expelled from the centrifugal separators. The final residuals of perhaps 0.01% that the high pressure absorber filtration misses will require oil break down chemistry whose end products are environmentally friendly and allows Nature to restore balance. So the actual water dumped back will be better than 99.99% pure.

Now let’s break this process down a bit and address the pieces of equipment involved. Our attack vessels are special, high speed catamarans that ferry cars between different ports today. They use water-jet propulsion, are extremely fast, maneuverable, and will be equipped with a special front-end water scoop to pick up the oil/water slick in real time while propelled forward. Their scoop or nozzle articulates, performing real time adjustments responding to oil slick depths thereby avoiding too much water pickup. Once their holding tanks are full, they reconnoiter with waiting intermediate-sized tankers to quickly dump their oil/water cargo. When these tankers are full, they deposit their load to one of the huge vessel platforms. These staging platforms use centrifugal systems to quickly and efficiently separate huge quantities of the oil and water, and dump the 99.9% cleaned water overboard (Nature effectively handles the remaining 0.1% of oil). When their tanks are full of oil, they start emptying themselves into the large standby oil tankers for delivery to refineries. QED.

For you science fiction/fact fans, this concept requires enormous equipment, is on a huge scale and if viewed as one harmonious system may be the first Oil-Terra-Forming machine to be used on our planet.

 


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lemonie4 years ago
What's your idea / what are you doing about this?
You understand fluid-dynamics and this is an interesting idea to you?

L
RT-101 (author)  lemonie4 years ago

The process of oil/water cleanup requires the serial use of various sequential operations where each performs a key stage of the operatic procedure. The orchestration starts with techniques that initially yield the biggest volumetric punch first, then refines this processing by using less volumetric cleaning ability but greater oil separation capability. All the while we have deployed an improved form of today’s containment apron, capable of hundreds of miles of coverage to prevent spreading the spilled oil slick to shore.

Having researched today’s available oil spill removal systems, their usefulness has been categorized according to volumetric processing capability per time. Fast surface skimming techniques plus “huge”, constant flowing centrifugal separators clearly win, but are not 100% effective. Sponge-type, oil absorbent techniques then come to play as they are useful in nearly recapturing the remaining 0.1% oil from the water, but are slow and will be used solely on the remaining 99.99% pure water expelled from our centrifugal oil separators. Today we literally use these absorbers like sponges, dunking them into the oil slick, waiting awhile and pulling them out after they’ve absorbed some oil

Absorbers are to be used differently than today, their performance is vastly accelerated as they now act as 0.1% oil filters to process the pressurized water expelled from the centrifugal separators. The final residuals of perhaps 0.01% that the high pressure absorber filtration misses will require oil break down chemistry whose end products are environmentally friendly and allows Nature to restore balance. So the actual water dumped back will be better than 99.99% pure.

lemonie RT-1014 years ago
You didn't answer either question, but I'll only re-iterate this one:
What's your idea / what are you doing about this?

L
RT-101 (author)  lemonie4 years ago
A Tough One!

1)      IDEA – What I’m Not Doing:    OK. So by “idea” you mean how will I act on this concept to implement it politically, and the answer is not at all. I’m not a politician nor lawyer, and hold these professions with little regard. Our founding fathers, with origins in Law were beacons at a time when our masses were uneducated, but their legal legacy today is the ineptitude of quagmire-law, where nothing gets done thanks to the troika of greed, dishonesty and lobbyists.

2)      What I Am Doing:   I’m simply using Social Networking to make us aware of ways to improve our existence through the effective use of technology not politics. Information is power and I’m attempting to empower society through implanting knowledge for a better future. Social networking will eventually create a society where “we” become the overwhelming lobby of influence to move ourselves forward.

lemonie RT-1014 years ago
A lot of people on the internet are talking about things, this site is for people who actually make and do things.
You should do something (here) practical to inspire people, like playing with your own engine.
Other forums are a better place to use Social Networking to make us aware of things.

L
RT-101 (author)  lemonie4 years ago

Excellent point. Folks here are indeed more tangible and want deeds not words.

 I guess I take making things for granted. My job develops prototypes with the help of many others and makes them happen. I’m lost here, because none of the things I’ve discussed are doable without a horde of people. 

My vapo-engine requires a host of interdisciplinary folks to make it happen. So unfortunately I’ve settled for talking without actual doing.  I thought forum topics permitted talkers and non-doers to also get involved? Please recommend a better site to peddle my ideas? Thanks.

lemonie RT-1014 years ago
What do you make of existing & previous vapor-technology (linked on this page)?

L
RT-101 (author)  lemonie4 years ago

Many people have delved into vapo-technology engines over the past 100 years as noted by my summary at “Can Non-Hybrid Cars Get 100+ MPG Today?”.  A few started coming close to getting 3X MPG performance enhancement, but didn’t hit the mark. However,  J.R. Martin, in 1973, got 298 MPG (definitely over 3X) but he cheated as his “control” car was totally gutted and only had one gear riding on a flat surface to barely get it moving, definitely not traffic-worthy but proving the vapo-burning concept.   Also T. Ogle, in 1977, got 120 MPG (~4X), and definitely proved the vapo concept again. However, his clever design created and stored gasoline vapor which was a potential time bomb. We must create instant vapor on demand, no storage, using thermodynamic plus heat exchanger principles, to make a safe reality.

There are many Internet sites today dealing with the concept. Lots of Youtube folks are seen tinkering with this concept and making some headway. I say “tinkering” because while they’re sound thinkers, none demonstrate the basic engineering ability to make a “smart” concept design using mathematical principles of thermodynamic/heat transfer/fluid flow.

Those with “some” engineering background are getting closer like the Parker ALE car, but they still don’t have it “right” and need 3-wheels,  light-weighting plus aerodynamics to get the mileage. Right means that it should definitely get a minimum of 3X enhancement over the same engine/car burning with fuel-droplet injection. Enhancement means either in MPG or power, but not both!  Common combustion performance charts for gasoline “assumes” you start with the vapor and provides expected detonation rates as a function of initial temperature, and air/fuel and compression ratios. Liquid fuel droplets don’t come into play!

canucksgirl4 years ago
"While Nature obviously works to clean up ecological disasters, she takes perhaps a decade or more to make a region whole again."

I'm not sure where you got that information from, but "nature" does not come close to making "a region whole again" in a decade or more... Case in point, The Exxon Valdez Disaster. Its been 23 years since the spill and there is still oil found along 1300 miles of shoreline and it continues to have adverse affects on marine life and their numbers to this day.

"We want to develop a technological process to be used worldwide that borrows from what we currently know, and clean up these oil spills almost as quickly as they happen upon our seascape."

So "we" should only concentrate our efforts on our "seascape"?

What about the hundreds of miles of pipelines that exist? or the hundreds of miles of pipelines that are being proposed? There is currently a discussion being raised about doing just that in my part of the world, and no "high speed catamarans" are going to have any affect on a landlocked area of diverse ecological habitat. 

I don't think your topic is ill-conceived, but in order to be effective, the focus should be on all areas potentially affected by the oil industry; and in my opinion, it shouldn't begin at the point where a disaster occurs. Technology could make its greatest impact by developing methods to minimize the potential for spills instead of focusing the attention on cleaning up after the fact.


RT-101 (author)  canucksgirl4 years ago
Thanks for your feedback.

Your comments are irrefutable.

1)      My nature point was a rough estimate, but your facts are real! Thanks.

2)      I’d also like to fix more than seascapes, as you pointed out, but I’m currently strapped for grander ideas for the land? While pipes move quite a bit of oil, sea traffic is still greater… implying to me more potential for disaster and making me focus that way.

3)       I promise to give land solutions more deserved thought down the road. As yet, my mind’s a blank?

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