Using Mechanical Means (e.g., Skimmers, Pump, Etc.) Patents (Class 210/923)
  • Patent number: 10322775
    Abstract: A remote-controlled underwater vehicle may be used to extract oil from an underside of a closed ice cover. Further, a system for extracting oil from an underside of a closed ice cover may comprise such a remote-controlled underwater vehicle and a submarine that can receive the remote-controlled underwater vehicle and store oil retrieved by the remote-controlled underwater vehicle. Finally, a method can be employed to extract oil from an underside of a closed ice cover.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2019
    Assignees: THYSSENKRUPP MARINE SYSTEMS GMBH, THYSSENKRUPP AG
    Inventor: Marc Schiemann
  • Patent number: 9523210
    Abstract: A device for skimming a pool surface to collect floating debris includes an elongate handle, a hollow body, and a spool on which an elongate continuous length of webbing is wound in a spiral configuration. The spool is housed within the body and the webbing is extendable from the spool through a slot formed in the body and is retractable onto the spool through the slot via spool rotation. The webbing has a proximal end to which an end piece is connected. The end piece is shaped to prevent passage through the slot and has a fastening element for being secured to an edge of a pool structure for removably mounting the end piece to the structure. The handle and body are sufficiently portable and lightweight to enable carrying by hand and ready removability of the entire device from the pool when not in use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 20, 2016
    Inventor: Calvin Hargis
  • Patent number: 9365995
    Abstract: An oil skimmer and vacuum recovery apparatus providing a method for removing the contaminating oil floating on the surface of a water body is disclosed. The apparatus may be mounted on an oil recovery vessel and includes a vacuum head mounted to a vacuum system. The vacuum head is configured at a desired proximity above a horizontally disposed separation plate that is adjustably positionable to be placed between the water surface and a contaminating layer of floating oil. The vacuum system includes a vacuum pump and motor and an associated vacuum tank configured to a fluids collection chamber that is in communication with a fluids vacuum line attached to the vacuum head. A vacuum force is directed by the vacuum head to the layer of floating oil above the separation plate whereby and the oil layer is skimmed from over the separation plate and drawn through the vacuum head the fluids vacuum line to the fluids collection chamber where it is collected for disposal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2016
    Inventor: Michael H. James
  • Patent number: 9199249
    Abstract: A suction float (1) for removing liquid and/or foam-like contaminants (22) from surfaces (21) of liquids (2), wherein the contaminants are drawn off downwards from the upper surface (111) of the float via a suction pipe section (12). For this purpose the float (1) has a first duct (13) extending from the upper surface (111) to the underside (112) for the suction pipe section to pass through and a second duct (14) from the underside (112) to the upper surface (111) of the float, wherein after passing through the first duct (13) the suction pipe section (12) is guided along the underside (112) of the float (11) and is designed to penetrate into the second duct (14), wherein the float (11) is movable along the suction pipe section (12). The invention further relates to a collecting device having a suction float (1) and to a collection vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2015
    Inventor: Udo Nagel
  • Patent number: 9017548
    Abstract: An oil collecting apparatus is provided to recover polluted nature environment and to keep nature environment clean in such a way that oil leaked over river or ocean is effectively collected on the spot, and only the oil is removed by separating water and oil, wherein the volume of the water tank configured to separate water and oil can be reduced in half, so the present invention may be applied to a small size ship, and only the oil leaked over river and ocean may be separated and collected on the spot. A water surface cleaner with an excellent oil connecting capacity may be built using the present invention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Inventor: Jung Ho Lee
  • Patent number: 9011680
    Abstract: Oil boom (1) having an elongated buoyancy body (8) carrying a skirt (9) that is hanging down in the sea as a barrier against water surface pollution. The boom (1) is arranged for being towed by its ends, in a U shape, for collecting pollution, in particular mechanically dispersed oil. The boom is designed in such a way that conditions for concentrating the pollution arise in the inner area of the boom, and in that at least parts of said inner area are provided with a means (6, 10) for coalescence of pollution drops.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: Norlense AS
    Inventor: Terje Olav Hansen
  • Patent number: 8986548
    Abstract: An oil containment recovery dome including an upper containment portion and at least one bladder. The upper containment portion has an enclosure defined therein that is adapted to receive equipment used in conjunction with a well and to retain therein oil or gas that escapes from the well. The at least one bladder is attached to the upper containment portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Inventor: Thomas T. K. Zung
  • Patent number: 8968480
    Abstract: Unprocessed, processed or refined hydrocarbon liquids as well as processed vegetable derived oil contaminants may be sequestered from a contaminated surface by applying onto the surface a blend comprising crumb rubber and hydrated magnesium silicate. The contaminated surface may be a solid surface (such as one composed of concrete, cement or asphalt) as well as an aqueous surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2015
    Assignee: Oil Spill Solutions, LLC
    Inventors: Fred Wulf, Phillip D. Calvert
  • Patent number: 8926219
    Abstract: A device (10) for collecting and temporarily storing fluids (16) escaping from an underwater source (12, 64) and having lower density than surrounding water includes a collector (18) placed over the underwater source for collecting the escaping fluids, a riser tube (20) for transferring the collected fluids together towards the surface; and a buoyant buffer reservoir (22) maintained submerged under the surface and having an open-bottom chamber (30) for storage of the fluids. The riser tube has flow restrictors has flow restrictors comprising choke disks (58, 58?) arranged in its interior for restricting the flow of the fluids. The flow restrictors are arranged along the length of the riser tube. The buffer reservoir has arranged in its chamber a separator vessel (32) for separating gas from the fluids. The riser tube opens into the interior of the separator for discharging the fluids.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2015
    Assignee: The European Union, Represented by the European Commission
    Inventors: Fivos Andritsos, Panagiotis Sotiropoulos
  • Patent number: 8920643
    Abstract: The invention relates to an apparatus for picking up particles from the surface of a water system, in particular particles of dirt, with a float (1), in which a particle separation chamber (8) is formed, into which particle-containing water can flow via an inflow opening (7), and out of which water at least partially freed from the particles can flow via an outflow opening (9), wherein the inflow opening (7) is provided with an inflow flap means and the outflow opening (9) is provided with an outflow flap means for opening and closing of the opening (9).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2014
    Assignee: Technische Universität Berlin
    Inventors: Günther Clauss, Florian Sprenger
  • Patent number: 8920640
    Abstract: An oil/water separator is provided that is suitable for use aboard an oil spill recovery vessel and elsewhere. The separator comprises a tank structure divided into first and second compartments that communicate via a bottom channel. An inlet pipe supplies an oil/water mix to be separated into the first compartment. An oil suction pipe draws oil out of the first compartment on a continuous or intermittent basis. Water discharges unassisted from the second compartment once the water level in the second compartment has reached a certain level. A heating compartment is provided adjoining the first compartment thereby to enable the oil in the compartment to be heated to reduce its viscosity in cold conditions; this heating compartment is arranged to serve as a reservoir for hydraulic fluid whereby heating of the oil results from heat given up by worked hydraulic fluid returned to the heating compartment after operational use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2014
    Assignee: Gobbler Oil Spill Recovery Ltd
    Inventor: Paul Frederick Jauncey
  • Patent number: 8911619
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus are disclosed for capturing and removing oil from a body of water with equipment using rod and film technology, which includes a streamlined oil tank that moves in the water and collects surface oil from an attached skimmer, arrays of inverted funnels lowered into the water to concentrate oil for removal, and containment tents to capture leaking fuel or cargo oil from a sunken ship or any underwater oil leak and channel it into a partially submerged rod and film storage tank at the surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2014
    Inventor: William R. Becker
  • Patent number: 8911632
    Abstract: The invention relates to an oil combating boom (1), which comprises an elongated boom part, which at its first end is connectable to an oil combating vessel (10). At least one pontoon member (5) and a number of turnable transfer members (6) equipped with rotating blade members (9) have been arranged in connection with the elongated boom part. The invention further relates to a method for collecting oil from a polluted shore area, in which method an oil combating vessel is steered to the vicinity of the shore, the oil combating boom (1) is arranged to extend onto the polluted shore area, oil is transferred from the shore area into the water and steered in the water towards the final collecting space (11) by rotating the blade members (9) of the transfer members (6).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2014
    Assignee: Oilwhale Oy
    Inventor: Markku Järvinen
  • Patent number: 8858789
    Abstract: A system for cleaning up an oil spill and recovering the spilled oil includes frames supporting superhydrophobic oil-absorbing nanowires. A first container supports the frames with the nanowires. A mixture of oil and water is pumped into the first container where the oil from the mixture is absorbed by the nanowires as water is separated from the mixture and deposited in the first container where it is then pumped therefrom. A second container supports the frames with the oil so-absorbed by the nanowires. The frames with the oil so-absorbed by the nanowires are heated whereby the oil so-absorbed separates from the nanowires and is deposited in the second container. The oil so-deposited in the second container is then pumped therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2014
    Assignee: The United States of America as represeted by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Jason M. Pappafotis, Daniel J. Flisek, David M. Robinson
  • Patent number: 8821721
    Abstract: The oil recovery boom of the present invention is designed to collect great amounts of oil if used in conjunction with many other booms. The oil recovery boom includes a set of eductors, and removes the adjacent oil for extraction from the sea. A high pressure pump placed at one end of the boom takes water from the sea and pumps it through a flexible manifold. The manifold in turn provides water pressure to each eductor and, the oil carried with the water is then pumped into a barge or containment with overflow sections, which will then separate the oil from the water for later processing. Embodiments of the present invention adopts an array of eductors which can be positioned either in series or in parallel. The oil recovery boom of the present invention provides for the immediate and large-scale removal of oil from the sea.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2014
    Inventor: Luis Rafael Torres
  • Patent number: 8814470
    Abstract: A containment machine for containing a contaminant in a body of water includes a set of buoy assemblies arrangeable in the body of water to form the end of a containment barrier for continuing the flow of contaminant in the body of water, cables being extendable from the respective buoy assemblies for holding barrier structure such as a set of truss/curtain assemblies which are connectable to form the containment barrier, a buoy sectional computer control unit in each of said buoy assemblies for receiving signals relating to the location of the respective barrier structure, the tension in the cables and the like, and for transmitting signals to a containment machine central computer control unit. The buoy sectional computer control unit also receives signals from a containment machine central computer control unit to establish set points for adjustment signals sent to the items under its control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Assignee: Roilblue Corporation
    Inventors: Bruno Belzile, Paula Sinclair
  • Patent number: 8801938
    Abstract: An apparatus, method, and system for recovering oil from a submerged oil source, wherein the system includes a submerged conduit having at least two openings, with a first opening capable of being located in proximity of a leak in order to capture leaking oil, and with a second opening capable of communicating captured leaking oil to another location. A natural gas separator, coupled to the submerged conduit separates the boiling vapor phase natural gas from the captured oil thereby outputting oil with water contaminant. An oil/water separator coupled to the natural gas separator then separates out the contaminant water, resulting in a processed recovered oil product for storage and subsequent refinement. The flow to capture the leak is induced by generating a lower pressure at nozzle in the conduit via power jet, air lift, pumping of fluid out of conduit close to sea level, or other methods.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2014
    Inventor: Dana R. Allen
  • Patent number: 8795520
    Abstract: An oil spill recovery vessel (10) is provided that comprises a catamaran bow section (12) with twin hulls between which an oil skimmer unit (11) is arranged for displacement between a lowered, operating, position in oil-polluted water and a raised, non-operational, position clear of the water. Aft of the catamaran bow section (12) is a trimaran main section (13) made up of a central hull interposed between two outer hulls formed by aft continuations of the twin hulls of the catamaran bow section (12); the three hulls of the trimaran main section have conjoined upper portions. A propulsion unit (53) is operative to move the vessel (10) forward at slow speed for skimming operations, and, with the skimmer unit (11) in its raised position, at a fast speed in which the vessel planes on its trimaran main section (13).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Assignee: Gobbler Oil Spill Recovery Ltd.
    Inventors: Paul Jauncey, Jose Suarez
  • Patent number: 8772219
    Abstract: Oil remediation compositions and methods for preparing such compositions are disclosed. The oil remediation compositions comprise particles of a first wax ester, such as a synthetic beeswax, and an anti-caking agent. The anti-caking agent may be a natural cellulosic material, such as particulate hay. In methods for preparing these compositions, the hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB) of the composition may be adjusted by adding a second wax ester or fatty acid ester with a different HLB to reach a desired HLB for the composition that is based on defined environmental conditions, such as the temperature and salinity of the water in which oil has been spilled, the nature of the oil spilled, and the degree of evaporation of organic compounds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2014
    Assignee: Clean Control Corporation
    Inventors: Cory S. Hammock, Stephen Davison
  • Patent number: 8753521
    Abstract: An offshore water-hydrocarbon separator system is capable of entrapping spilled oil offshore, and recovering the oil to a usable state for subsequent refining. The kinetic energy of a towing vessel provides the energy for establishing a flow path of oil and seawater through the hydrocarbon separator. Annular venturi provided at each successive stage in the separator accelerate a core flow of sea water substantially down the center of the flow path, while drag associated with aggregated oil particles forces oil outward, away from the core, to flow along the walls of each stage. The energy that establishes the core flow of water is provided by the kinetic energy of the surface vessel and the acceleration of core flow at each successive venturi. No other source of energy is needed to induce the water hydrocarbon separation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2014
    Inventor: Namon A. Hawthorne
  • Patent number: 8721897
    Abstract: An oil collecting apparatus and a corresponding method for collecting oil from the surface of water, the oil collecting apparatus includes a set of oil booms (3) coupled to form a long line of oil booms. The line of oil booms includes, at a distance from each other, a number of anchorage points (4) for anchoring the oil boom (3) onto the sea bed and, in addition, between the anchorage points and in conjunction with the oil boom there is an oil collecting station (5) for collecting the oil directed by the booms from the surface of water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Assignee: M&L Patent Oy Ab
    Inventor: Lars Ingram Lundin
  • Patent number: 8720671
    Abstract: A conveyor system for transporting material from an origin to a destination includes a conveyor surface that moves a plurality of pivotal flight members along a continuous, predetermined path. The pivotal flight members allow the conveyor surface to freely travel along rollers positioned both within and outside of the conveyor loop for various applications. For example, various obstructions along the predetermined path pivot the flight members in either of two directions to trap, transport and release the material at desired locations. The flight members may be scraped and compressed to remove residual fluids if the conveyor system is used to collect liquids, such as released oil or other contaminants.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Inventor: Brian Slone
  • Patent number: 8721878
    Abstract: A subsurface hydrocarbon capture apparatus having a filtration member connected to a mouth frame, wherein the filtration member is composed of a material that is hydrophobic and lipophilic, the apparatus having buoyancy and weight members to maintain the apparatus in a subsurface disposition when pulled by a boat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Inventors: Mark D. Shaw, J. Tad Heyman
  • Patent number: 8696242
    Abstract: An apparatus for removing oil or other pollutants from the surface of water, comprising a platform having a left side wall, aright side wall, a rear wall, a front opening, a floor, and a bottom, one or more ballasts which adjust the platform floor relative to a level of oil on the water surface, wherein the oil flows from the front opening across the floor to the rear wall, a rear location near the rear wall to collect the oil from the platform floor; and a pump connected to the rear location that removes the oil from the rear location to a storage area which does not affect the ballast of the platform. The skimmer vessel can work stationary in the water, and does not require a propellor means, as the oil will continue to flow into the skimmer as the oil is pumped out of the rear by the gravity flow to the rear of the vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Inventor: Michael A. Fesi
  • Patent number: 8696914
    Abstract: The invention relates to an apparatus for picking up particles from the surface of a water system, in particular oil, algae or dirt particles, comprising a particle separation space, which is connected to an inflow opening through which water that contains particles can enter the particle separation space, a particle-collecting space into which particles that have been separated from the water that contains particles reach from the particle separation space via a separation mechanism and an adjustment mechanism, which is configured to regulate a filling level of the water that contains particles in the particle separation space. In addition, the invention relates to a method for picking up particles, in particular oil, algae or dirt particles, from the surface of a water system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: Technische Universität Berlin
    Inventors: Günther Clauss, Florian Sprenger
  • Patent number: 8673155
    Abstract: An oil spill recovery vessel (10) equipped with a skimmer unit (11) moves forward through an oil spill (6) at a normal skimming speed with its skimming unit operating to recover oil, and simultaneously transfers recovered oil through an oil transfer hose (17) to a bladder (19) being towed by the vessel using a towing cable (14). The oil transfer hose (17) and towing cable (14) attach to the vessel in substantially the same location situated approximately on the fore-aft centerline of the vessel and at least one third of the vessel's length from the stern or more forwardly an oil transfer bollard (15) of the vessel. In one embodiment the oil transfer hose (17) and towing cable (14) attach to an oil transfer bollard unit (15) comprising a towing post and an oil transfer pipe. The oil transfer bollard (15) can also be used to transfer oil from a towed unit to the vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2014
    Assignee: Gobbler Oil Spill Recovery Ltd.
    Inventors: Paul Jauncey, Jose Suarez
  • Patent number: 8663467
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus are disclosed for capturing and removing oil from a body of water with equipment using rod and film technology, which includes a streamlined oil tank that moves in the water and collects surface oil from an attached skimmer, arrays of inverted funnels lowered into the water to concentrate oil for removal, and containment tents to capture leaking fuel or cargo oil from a sunken ship or any underwater oil leak and channel it into a partially submerged rod and film storage tank at the surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2014
    Inventor: William R. Becker
  • Patent number: 8658045
    Abstract: An oil skimmer system on a marine vessel. The preferred embodiment contemplates a pickup wing pivotally mounted between two hulls in the forward section of the marine vessel, which is formed to collect and direct the oil to the pickup wing. The pickup wing is dynamically repositionable, the pickup wing mount having provided a mechanism for vertically positioning the unit in real time such that the front of the pickup wing is situated just below the water surface, to provide maximum collection of contaminants (in this case, hydrocarbons) floating thereupon. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the pickup wing has a “teardrop” cross sectional profile, and is configured such that fluid motion over the its forward section, either from vessel motion or fluid current, provides a skimming action, so as to urge the surface contaminants over the wing and into a recovery area, where it is separated from the water and pumped into a collection tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2014
    Inventor: Leslie Lombas
  • Patent number: 8652325
    Abstract: A device for cleaning up spilled oil from the surface of a body of water, including a vessel adapted to float on the body of water and to pass over the oil, wherein the vessel has an inclined bow surface for directing the oil downwardly beneath the vessel. The device includes an oil/water separation column carried on the vessel having an inner cavity with a lower end forming a bottom opening oriented substantially parallel to the surface of the body of water in fluid communication with the water and spilled oil such that oil directed downwardly beneath the vessel by the bow surface is directed to the bottom opening. At least a substantial portion of the oil/water separation column is narrowed with increasing height beginning at least at a height approximately corresponding to the water line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Inventor: David Leonard Prior
  • Patent number: 8628658
    Abstract: Removing contaminated water and pollutants from a body of water. Apparatus includes marine particle skimmers that can pull contaminated water through filter units or otherwise direct contaminated water or pollutants to a collection point. Emergency extraction lines can remove contaminated water and pollutants by conducting water to an extraction point. Emergency extraction lines include multiple emergency extraction line components connected to each other. The marine particle skimmers and emergency extraction lines typically float on the surface of the water but can be configured to extract contaminants below the water surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2014
    Inventors: Fred Giovannitti, Ashley Day
  • Patent number: 8608959
    Abstract: A device for picking up floating objects on the water, such as hydrocarbons, has an envelope made of a flexible material impervious to water and to the floating objects, having a mouth at the upstream end and a discharge orifice at the downstream end, a folding rigid framework, arranged inside the envelope and attached thereto at the mouth and at the discharge orifice, at least one inflatable tube attached to the envelope and running along the length of the envelope, and a compressed-gas generation device designed to inflate the or each inflatable tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2013
    Inventor: Robert Gastaldi
  • Patent number: 8602683
    Abstract: A storage device for retaining an extended length of floating oil boom therein and a method of using the same. The storage device is made from a sheet of material that is foldable to define and surround an interior cavity in which the oil boom is received. A closure mechanism is engaged to secure the folded storage device about the oil boom. A lifting mechanism on the storage device is engaged with a cable extending from a suspension assembly mounted on a vessel for use on a large body of water. The suspension assembly maintains the storage boom adjacent a side wall of the vessel and a distance above the surface of the water until the oil boom retained therein is needed in an emergency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2013
    Assignee: Alphafuze Manufacturing, LLC
    Inventors: Brian D. Henry, Lance J. Armstrong
  • Patent number: 8580123
    Abstract: Skimmers, barges and related methods recover heavy oil or bitumen from contaminated water environments such as tailings ponds. The skimmer has an articulated mesh-like conveyor driven around a drum by a drive sprocket. A pusher mechanism discharges bitumen or heavy oil from cavities in the conveyor. In one embodiment, the skimmer includes an automatic depth control system. In other embodiments, knife-edged shear plates remove heavy oil or bitumen adhering to the conveyor and drum. A barge may incorporate multiple parallel skimmers. The barge may include a bitumen-transfer pump having an annular fluid-injection flange that generates an annulus of lubricating fluid inside a discharge hose. A method of skimming heavy oil or bitumen involves using a skimmer that automatically adjusts its elevation or depth based on a control signal generated by a depth sensor. Another method recovers and transfers bitumen by lubricating the discharge hose using the annular fluid-injection flange.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2013
    Assignee: Environment Recovery Equipment
    Inventor: David Hines
  • Patent number: 8518250
    Abstract: An apparatus for separating liquids during agitation includes a support and a honeycomb cellular structure supported by the support. The cellular structure has a top and a bottom. It is formed from a plurality of enclosed cells, which limit and re-direct liquid movement in all directions so that agitation of the support has a negligible co-mingling effect enabling a liquid separation interface to be established within the cellular structure. Each cell has an inlet and an outlet, which are out of register creating a non-linear migration path from the bottom to the top of the cellular structure. A capture assembly is provided to capture less dense liquids after separation has occurred.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2013
    Inventor: Laurent Beaudin
  • Patent number: 8449768
    Abstract: An oil skimmer includes a frame for attaching a porous collection bag. The frame automatically tilts in response to water flow, relative to the frame, and the frame automatically returns to its original (“neutral”) position when the water flow ceases. In the tilted position, the frame orients a portion of the mouth of the bag below the surface of the water, so the bag collects floating contaminants. However, in the neutral position, the frame orients the mouth of the bag upward and such that the mouth is above the surface of the water to prevent previously captured contaminants from escaping from the bag and floating away. Optionally, the frame may be releasably locked in the neutral position to facilitate bag replacement or when no collection is desired. The skimmer may be mounted between hulls of a catamaran.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2013
    Assignee: National Response Corporation
    Inventors: Jason DeSantis, David Aviles, Lucas Owen, Ernest Nelson Dix Brown
  • Patent number: 8404122
    Abstract: A system and a method for collecting oil from the surface of a body of water, which includes a vessel for receiving oil being collected; an articulating arm, having a first end secured to the vessel and a second end extending above the body of water; an oil collection portion, comprising a funnel shaped member suspended from the second end of the articulating arm, the funnel shaped member having a large opening at is lower end, and an angulated wall portion terminating in a small apex at the upper end of the funnel shaped member; a pump secured to and communicating with the apex end of the funnel shaped member, having a float switch to activate the pump; a line extending from the pump to the interior of the vessel, so that when the funnel shaped member is lowered into the water, oil floating on the water will become more concentrated as the oil is moved from the large opening of the funnel to the apex of the funnel, and when the oil contacts the float switch the pump pumps the oil from atop the water to the i
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2013
    Inventor: Angelo Quaglino, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8382978
    Abstract: A device and method for cleaning up spilled oil and other liquids that are relatively less dense than water, that have spilled on the water or are borne on water or an other relatively dense liquid, and for separating oil and other liquids that are relatively less dense than water, from water or an other relatively dense liquids including an oil/water separation column having a lower end forming a bottom opening oriented substantially parallel to the surface of the body of water in fluid communication with the water and spilled oil, an air pump in airtight engagement with, and proximate the upper end of the oil/water separation column and adapted to draw water and the spilled oil into the oil/water separation column; and an oil pump in liquid tight engagement with and proximate the upper end of the oil/water separation column and adapted to draw the spilled oil from the oil/water separation column.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2013
    Inventor: David L. Prior
  • Patent number: 8376145
    Abstract: The invention relates to environment protection and can be used for cleaning industrial wastewater, liquidation of oil spills resulted from ecological disasters. The invention provides a reliable device for cleaning water from oil nano- and micro-particles and other impurities. Such device comprises a pump pumping a liquid flow of water with impurities particles. The pump is connected to a water dynamic purification unit (WDPU) with a channel including —a first type section with variable cross-section decreasing downstream, —a minimal passage cross-section, —a second type section with variable cross-section increasing downstream. The first type section includes a zone with a plurality of protrusions and deepenings. One protrusion has a maximal height greater than the heights of other protrusions. Preferable sizes and relations of channel elements are disclosed. The WDPU uses cavitation that allows decomposing oil particles, and reduction of the flow speed for commencement of cavitation and sedimentation time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2013
    Assignee: Troy Group Holdings Ltd.
    Inventors: Vladimir Ilych Kormilitsyn, Vladimir Pavlovich Lobko, Oleg Olegovich Tikhonenko
  • Patent number: 8343358
    Abstract: A three-hulled oil combatting vessel (500) has a separating structure (100), which pushes ice blocks (J1), which move between the middle hull (SH1) and side hulls (SH2, SH3) from the prow to the stern, underneath the water surface (WL1). The separating structure (100) may be a grate in the longitudinal direction of the vessel (500). The density of the oil (B4) or oil refining product to be collected is smaller than that of the water, so the oil (B3), which has been separated from the ice blocks (J1) that were pushed down, tends to rise through the separating structure (100) to the water surface. The separating structure (100) separates the oil (B3) from the ice blocks (J1) for easier collection into a container. The separated (B4) oil can thus be collected from the relatively ice-free water surface (WL1) with an oil collecting device (200), which may have a brush skimmer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: Mobimar Oy
    Inventor: Pauli Immonen
  • Patent number: 8318012
    Abstract: An oil skimming water vessel having a hull and deck forming one or more interior compartments, wherein the hull comprising a bow or forward section, a mid-section, a stern or aft section, and an oil skimmer assembly, and wherein either or both of the bow or aft section constructed having a rake bottom shell. The oil skimmer assembly having first and second separated side walls (SKEG) extending vertically down from the rake bottom shell, a skimmer bottom plate extending between and affixed at the lower end sections of each of the side walls (SKEG) wherein the skimmer bottom plate having at least one discharge opening in its leading edge section, and a weir plate assembly. The rake bottom shell having at least one standpipe opening to which a standpipe attaches and extends vertically to a corresponding vessel deck opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: Gulp Oil Skimmers, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Lee Anthony Dragna
  • Patent number: 8273250
    Abstract: Skimmers, barges and related methods recover heavy oil or bitumen from contaminated water environments such as tailings ponds. The skimmer has an articulated mesh-like conveyor driven around a drum by a drive sprocket. A pusher mechanism discharges bitumen or heavy oil from cavities in the conveyor. In one embodiment, the skimmer includes an automatic depth control system. In other embodiments, knife-edged shear plates remove heavy oil or bitumen adhering to the conveyor and drum. A barge may incorporate multiple parallel skimmers. The barge may include a bitumen-transfer pump having an annular fluid-injection flange that generates an annulus of lubricating fluid inside a discharge hose. A method of skimming heavy oil or bitumen involves using a skimmer that automatically adjusts its elevation or depth based on a control signal generated by a depth sensor. Another method recovers and transfers bitumen by lubricating the discharge hose using the annular fluid-injection flange.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2012
    Assignee: Environment Recovery Equipment
    Inventor: David Hines
  • Patent number: 8221624
    Abstract: A system for separating liquids of different densities employs a collector shell (17) made up of smooth lines and curvatures. A fairing creates and controls the flow of the liquids (for example water and oil) by gathering, capturing and isolating one liquid beneath the surface of the other liquid (24). The trapped and water pressurized oil is extracted and transferred to a storage container (21). One embodiment, the collector shell (17) is a simple design yet complex in achieving a workable shape that can accomplish all of the above using a small number of moving parts all of which, with the possible exception of the collector shell (17) and the elevator screw (12) are off the shelf items. The collector shell (17) inherently suppresses turbulence. The accumulation of oil captured in the collector bowl (17d) remains in a state of semi-suspension in both rough and normal surface conditions. The only movement of the oil is in a vertical direction when the elevator screw (12) is in motion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2012
    Inventor: Joseph Merle Dague
  • Patent number: 8216457
    Abstract: Removing contaminated water and pollutants from a body of water. Apparatus includes marine particle skimmers that can pull contaminated water through filter units or otherwise direct contaminated water or pollutants to a collection point. Emergency extraction lines can remove contaminated water and pollutants by conducting water to an extraction point. Emergency extraction lines include multiple emergency extraction line components connected to each other. The marine particle skimmers and emergency extraction lines typically float on the surface of the water but can be configured to extract contaminants below the water surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2012
    Inventors: Ashley Day, Fred Giovannitti
  • Patent number: 8197577
    Abstract: A passive hydrocarbon containment system for containing hydrocarbons in a fluid comprises a subsea separator dome, an oil pathway in fluid communication with a hydrocarbon collector disposed within the collection dome, and a gas outlet pipe having a discharge height dimensioned and adapted in relation to the height of the oil pathway sufficient to keep a portion of the oil pathway submerged into a fluid such as seawater present in the collection dome interior void. The hydrocarbon containment system can be moored subsea and used to collect oil and gas coming out of the ocean floor. One advantage of the hydrocarbon containment system is that there are no moving parts. A further advantage is that the hydrocarbon containment system requires limited maintenance to pump out the collected oil as needed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2012
    Assignee: Oceaneering International, Inc.
    Inventor: W. Jack Couch
  • Patent number: 8173012
    Abstract: A vertical flexible oil flow director hose is used to recover, to guide, and to filter the spilled oil from its source beneath the sea floor to the surface of water and to accumulate the floating oil therein for being ready to be pumped into an oil tanker. The said hose extends in the sea all the way from the sea floor to the surface of water by connecting its lower end to a circular sinking weight block and its upper end to a hollow doughnut-shaped floating device. The said hose includes two main portions abutting each other, the lower portion is for guiding and displacing water out through the gaps or meshes. The upper portion is for continued guiding and accumulating the oil in its upper section. A gas-tight dome cap having an opening at its bottom may be used to cap the upper opening of the oil accumulator well in the floating object, for holding the gas as necessary. A gas-compressor and gas tank or tanks will be equipped on the oil tanker ready to take and to store the gas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2012
    Inventor: Hue Nguyen Che
  • Patent number: 8097152
    Abstract: An apparatus for removing oil from sea ice comprises modular crusher units which may be pivotally mounted on a barge or other vessel. A rotating, toothed drum crushes the ice against a grating and mixes it with warmed, recycled water to form an ice/water slurry which is conveyed by means of an auger to one or more melting units. The liquid phase output of the melting units is first conveyed to a surge tank and then to a separator unit which separates the oil from the water. The oil is conveyed to a storage tank for subsequent offloading and disposal and the water is returned in a recycle line to sprayers mounted in the crusher unit(s) for deicing the intake section of the crusher and mixing with the crushed sea ice to form an ice/water slurry for subsequent, on-board treatment. The modular design of the apparatus permits a plurality of units to be mounted on a vessel in a side-by-side array such that substantially the entire beam of the vessel at the stern (or bow) may be covered and used for ice intake.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2012
    Inventor: James Clifford Lewis
  • Patent number: 8080164
    Abstract: Systems, methods and apparatus are provided for utilizing a substantially condensed phase cryogenic fluid for the purpose of remediation and retrieval of, e.g., spilled crude oil and other “oil spill”-related products from marine/aquatic and terrestrial environments. In some implementations, systems and apparatus are provided for applying a substantially condensed phase cryogenic fluid to a volume of spilled oil, and further having structure for collecting the spilled oil. Some implementations are environmentally-neutral. Substances other than oil may be remediated as well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 20, 2011
    Inventor: Ronald de Strulle
  • Patent number: 8066872
    Abstract: A skimmer system for removing a substantially liquid substance such as oil floating on the surface of a body of water has a reservoir body defining an collected fluid reservoir and having a primary weir edge. A weir tube extends upwardly within the reservoir and provides a secondary weir edge being of less height than the primary weir edge and defines a vortex chamber. A plurality of buoyancy members support the reservoir body in relation to the surface of the body of water and are adjustable relative to the reservoir body by power operated or mechanical devices for selective positioning of said primary weir edge relative to the water surface. A pump having a suction inlet is in communication with the vortex chamber and has a discharge outlet conducting recovered oil to a collection barge. A power source such as a hydraulic fluid supply is connected in driving relation with the pump.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2011
    Assignee: International Spill Control LLC
    Inventors: D. Richard Partridge, Charles C. Partridge, Jeffrey M. Partridge
  • Patent number: 8048300
    Abstract: An oil recovery vessel utilizing a hybrid hull wherein the bow portion is a catamaran style hull having an oil collection assembly intermediate the port and starboard hull portions of the bow. The oil recovery vessel further includes an oil collection assembly proximate the bow of the vessel. The oil collection assembly is formed with three walls and a floor and is operable to be moved in an upwards-downwards direction so that the floor may be positioned beneath the waterline of the vessel. The oil collection assembly further includes two rotating drums having perpendicular members protruding therefrom that are above ramp members. The ramp members are connected to transfer assembly containers having therein a transfer blade that is helical in shape. The transfer blade moves the oil into a collection chamber that the transfer blade is hermetically sealed therewith. Pipes connect the transfer assembly containers to separation tanks that separate the oil and water mixture received.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2011
    Inventors: George Ness, Janet Ness
  • Patent number: 7967982
    Abstract: A skimming system for removing a floating layer from a water surface. The skimming system includes at least one guide element that is movable relative to the floating layer, which guide element includes at least one unit that catches the floating layer. The at least one removal unit includes at least one collecting container that is detachably attached to the guide element. The collecting container is furthermore vertically adjustable, so that it is not only easy to detach and exchange the collecting container but that it is moreover possible to position the floating layer removal means at a desired depth in or below the floating layer. In this way an optimum removal of the floating layer can be realized. The inlet of the collecting container is present at a location where the extent to which water is mixed with the floating layer is minimal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2011
    Assignee: Koseq B.V.
    Inventor: Gerrit Kampers