Oil Spill Recovery
Oil spill recovery from solid surfaces (floor, land, roads, etc.) and water require different approaches and is accomplished by different technique.
Though oil recovery from solid surfaces may require prior oil containment, spreading of the spilled oil on such surfaces happen relatively slow, and removal oil from floor, land, roads, etc. may be commenced without containment of the spilled oil.
As for oil recovery from water, oil spill containment is almost always the necessary step prior to oil removal. Whenever it is possible oil spill recovery operation starts immediately after its controlled or even simultaneously with oil containment. The reason for such “hurry” is to avoid operating with weathered oil, which may be emulsified and have high viscosity.
The main two methods of oil recovery on solid surfaces and water are sorbent devices and skimmers.
While sorbents are prevalent method for recovery of spilled hydrocarbon from floor, roads, etc., skimmers (mechanical devices) are used frequently for oil removal from water.
There are wide range of skimmers in the market today, distinguished by principle of operation, design, recovery capacity, efficiency, sizes etc. and intended for operation in various conditions: depending on oil layer thickness, spilled oil properties, climatic conditions, water conditions (open ocean, lakes, rivers, etc.) and many others.