Using Physical Agent (e.g., Sponge, Mop, Etc.) Patents (Class 210/924)
  • Patent number: 6598260
    Abstract: A liquid barrier system for protecting selected areas of flooring from liquid flow. The liquid barrier system includes a pair of end assemblies adapted for abutting a surface of a floor, and an elongate barrier assembly having two ends, each one of the barrier assembly ends being coupled to an associated one of the end assemblies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2003
    Inventor: Michael D. Sharpe
  • Patent number: 6506307
    Abstract: A process is described for sorbing hydrophobic liquids using a plurality of dried, washed fibers originating from a tropical plant material having naturally hydrophobic fibers. The dried, washed fibers have been washed sufficiently to extract a substantial portion of natural liquids therefrom, thereby improving their hydrophobic absorptive properties. The dried, washed fibers are applied in communication with a body containing the hydrophobic liquid whereupon they sorb the hydrophobic liquid from the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2003
    Assignee: Fybx Enviromental, Inc.
    Inventors: Dimitrios George Hondroulis, Katherine Tracy Bergquist-Kingham, Neville William Kingham
  • Patent number: 6444611
    Abstract: A sorbent composition and process designed for removing oil or oily substances from the surface or upper layer of a body of a water. The sorbent composition consists of raw peanuts hulls crushed to a plurality of particles of predetermined dimensions. The composition further comprises crushed raw peanut kernels provided to create a hydrophobic/oleophilic protective film around those particles. Protective film is formed by treatment of the mixture in a rotary kiln at a predetermined temperature and a restricted air flow. An apparatus for removing oil or oily substances from a surface or upper layer of a body of a water comprises a flexible ballast feeding pipe containing the sorbent composition. The pipe is immersed on predetermined depth below an oil spill water surface area and contains a number of injection nozzles distributed along the pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2002
    Inventor: Horatio Solis
  • Patent number: 6439492
    Abstract: The present invention 10 discloses an absorption means of liquid spills and fluids that may leak or fall from underneath the chassis of a motor vehicle 12. The present invention 10 discloses a main enclosure 16 being a cylindrical-shaped structure having a thin, rectangular aperture 22 therein through which an absorbing element 14 passes. On each end of the main enclosure are retaining cap ends 28 which have retaining grooves 53 therein which provide coupling means for the present invention 10. The counterweight element 36 is provided in the base of the main enclosure 16 for providing anchorage and stability to the present invention. Rubber feet having threaded members 48 are provided which pass through threaded apertures 50 of the counterweight 36 and provide means for connecting the end caps 28, counterweights 36 and rubber feet 30 together The absorbing member 14 is a rectangular-shaped structure comprising a porous material layer 58, an absorbing material layer 60 and an impermeable material layer 62.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2002
    Inventor: David Leiggi
  • Patent number: 6409924
    Abstract: System in fluid communication with an oil-contaminated water supply, such as a water leg portion of an offshore drilling or production platform sump tank, for conveying the separated water into contact with an organophilic clay in a vessel maintained at an operating pressure of at least 10 psig, such that the hydrocarbons and other organic material will be adsorbed onto the organophilic clay and will be conveyed back to the ocean water without contamination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2002
    Assignee: AMCOL International Corporation
    Inventors: Michael R. Johnson, Jeffrey J. Smith
  • Patent number: 6398966
    Abstract: Apparatus in fluid communication with a water leg portion of a hydrocarbon-contaminated water, e.g., a water leg portion of an offshore drilling or production platform sump tank for conveying water, separated from oil, into contact with organophilic media canisters such that the hydrocarbons and other organic materials commingled with the sump tank water will be adsorbed onto the organophilic media and detected by the embedded probe in selected canisters. The canisters are provided in a plurality of stacks and are in fluid communication with a header disposed at the bottom of the vessel housing the various stacks of canisters. Solids that do not pass through the canisters are accumulated at the bottom of the vessel and easily drained through a drain port. The water will pass through the media and will be conveyed back to the ocean water without contamination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2002
    Assignee: AMCOL International Corporation
    Inventors: Jeffrey J. Smith, Jerald W. Darlington, Jr., Michael R. Johnson, John Occhipinti, Elmo Robichaux, Michael A. Berger
  • Patent number: 6380129
    Abstract: An enhanced material formed from a carrier material having a high porosity. The carrier material is treated with a mixture of hydrocarbons to increase the adherence of the carrier material particles to one another to minimize atmospheric contamination of the carrier materials in use. The material has particular applicable to environments where such contamination would create problems, such as food processing and preparation environments, computer operations, electronic component manufacturing and other environments. The material meets the requirements of FDA regulations for Indirect Food Contact.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2002
    Inventor: Richard J. Kraemer
  • Patent number: 6372134
    Abstract: A cleaning device (1), which is attached to a collecting device comprising a body and wheels (3) in which device a V-shaped brush (2) secured to a belt (7) moves in a groove, whereby the brushes flatten between the trough walls of the cleaning device (1) and a plough captures the detached oil, which drains into an oil receptacle (5). Moreover, a fork (6) for removing brash ice and debris can be mounted in front of the cleaning device (1).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2002
    Inventor: Bent Larsen
  • Patent number: 6368499
    Abstract: A disposable filter cartridge for a storm drain and the filter system that uses the improved filter cartridge are claimed. The filter cartridge has a pillow structure, wherein a water permeable scrim bag surrounds loose oil absorbing fibers. The oil absorbing fibers are preferably fabricated from melt blown polypropylene. The filter cartridge is placed in a filter cage that directs water flow through the filter cartridge yet prevents debris from reaching the filter cartridge. The filter cage is suspended below the grate of the storm drain by suspension elements such as chains or rods. The top of each of the suspension elements terminates at an attachment element that engages the grate of the storm drain. As a result, the filter cage and filter cartridge are suspended directly from the storm drain grate. By suspending the filter cartridge directly from the grate of a storm drain, the filter cartridge is positioned directly in line with the flow of water entering the storm drain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2002
    Inventor: S. Robert Sharpless
  • Patent number: 6344519
    Abstract: An oil-sorbent composition of matter has bound combinations of styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) and ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM). The SBS, or both materials, may be in the form of multitudes of granules. In certain preferred embodiments, the combination is 10-30% by weight and the SBS is about 30% styrene and manufactured without talc. The composition of matter can be formed into a solid, compliant body and utilized in a product for absorbing oil. The body can be formed, in one preferred embodiment, into an extended cylinder having an axial hole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2002
    Assignee: Abtech Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Glenn R. Rink, James F. Morris, Stephen C. Stelpstra
  • Patent number: 6332737
    Abstract: A portable pollution control apparatus designed to span a creek or other small waterway. The apparatus includes an adjustable length boom which extends across the creek; an elongated, hydrocarbon-absorbent sock which is suspended from the boom and extends within the creek downstream from the boom; and a sheet of water-porous fabric connectable to the boom and extending upstream therefrom to function as a sediment trap. The fabric sheet in preferably deployed on the creekbed and banks to form a settling pond immediately upstream from said boom to permit settling of sediment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2001
    Inventor: Jack Mattson
  • Patent number: 6326070
    Abstract: Sawdust particles are freed from their terpene content and thereafter coated with a Teflon wax. The Teflon coated sawdust is hydrophobic and consequently does not absorb water, while the ability to absorb oil is improved. The Teflon coated sawdust is useful in control of oil spills.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2001
    Assignee: Virkensdamm AB
    Inventor: Bo Södergren
  • Patent number: 6312596
    Abstract: A bag, particularly adapted for absorbing hydrocarbons dispersed in smaller quantities of water, has a ball-like shaped body formed from oleophobic netting materials. The bag body includes a tubular-shaped outer sleeve positioned about a tubular-shaped inner sleeve to form an interior space therebetween. Adjacent end portions of each sleeve then are connected so that an absorbent medium in the bag interior space is fully enclosed. The inner sleeve defines a central passageway through the bag. To hold the bag during use, a cord loop may be disposed in the central passageway with a knotted end of the cord joined with one of the sleeve end portion connections. A looped end of the cord then extends from an opposite end of the central passageway to provide convenient means for attaching the bag to a support while the bag is immersed in a hydrocarbon-water mix. As hydrocarbons are drawn to strands of the bag netting and then collect in voids of the netting, the bag discolors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2001
    Inventor: Richard J. Kunzelman
  • Patent number: 6274046
    Abstract: To collect oil or other matter floating on the surface of a body of water a collection vessel (11) having a collection compartment (A) is immersed in the water. A surface layer carrying the matter to be collected is caused to flow from the area around the collection vessel into the collection compartment (A) over a vertically movable skimming weir (15A) on the collection vessel. Water is discharged from the lower portion of the collection compartment such that a liquid level lower than that of the surrounding water is maintained in the collection compartment (A). Floating matter accumulated on the liquid surface in the collection compartment is removed; if the matter to be collected is low-viscosity oil, an oil-absorbing body (22) made of a hydrophobic material is used to absorb the accumulated oil from the liquid surface in the collection compartment. A dashpot damping device (28-30) dampens vertical oscillations of the skimming weir (15).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2001
    Inventor: Stig Lundbäck
  • Patent number: 6190545
    Abstract: A drainwater treatment system positionable within a horizontal flow passage of a drainage system utilizes a partition which divides the flow passage into an upstream chamber and a downstream chamber. In addition, a mid-panel is supported within the upstream chamber for dividing the interior of the upstream chamber into an upper section and a lower section so that the drainwater enters the upper section before entering the lower section through a first opening provided in the mid-panel. A conduit is also joined between a second opening provided in the mid-panel and the opening of the partition for conducting drainwater from the lower section of the upstream chamber to the downstream chamber so that the drainwater which enters the upper section and then into the lower section is decelerated to flow conditions at which debris and suspended are permitted to separate and settle from the drainwater before being conducted from the lower section and into the downstream chamber through the conduit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2001
    Assignee: Remedial Solutions, Inc.
    Inventor: J. Kelly Williamson
  • Patent number: 6180011
    Abstract: A method for removing hydrocarbon products from water surfaces, which entails contacting the hydrocarbon products with a crystalline polypropylene, which when observed under a microscope of 2500 magnetization, exhibits a spongy surface having relatively homogeneous intercommunicating pores, with dimensions of between about 3 &mgr;m and 20 &mgr;m in diameter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2001
    Assignee: Enichem Synthesis S.p.A
    Inventors: Carlo Neri, Silvestro Costanzi, Franco Groppelli
  • Patent number: 6152025
    Abstract: A structure and method is provided for absorbing excess fat from an environment including one or more fats insolubly combined in an aqueous solution mix. The structure includes a plurality of layers, at least one of which is formed from a preferentially fat-permeable, oleophilic material having a greater affinity for fat than for the aqueous solution. Preferably, the structure includes particular structural and topographic components that effectively enhance the inherent fat-affinity of the oleophilic material. The absorption structure is easily employed by introducing it into an environment such as a soup, broth, etc., having fat residing in an aqueous solution. The structure acts to attract and absorb at least a portion of the fat which can then be extracted from the solution. A process for forming the multi-layer absorption structure is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2000
    Inventors: Hal J. Oien, Robert L. Larson
  • Patent number: 6146529
    Abstract: Human hair is formed into a generally planar layer. The layer may comprise a center scrim to which the human hair is attached. The device is buoyant when saturated with oil and water. The device is used to remove oil from water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2000
    Assignee: BEPS, Inc.
    Inventor: Phillip McCrory
  • Patent number: 6143170
    Abstract: A portable system for recovering oil-based fluids from sorbent articles containing oil-based fluids, the system including a motor vehicle and a self-balancing centrifuge having a housing and a foraminous rotatable basket removably attached to a spindle in the housing, the centrifuge being attached to the vehicle for transport to a remote site, the basket having a solid base having a mass sufficient to provide self-balancing rotation of the basket and the basket being configured for receiving a plurality of the sorbent articles therein, wherein rotation of the centrifuge basket applies sufficient centrifugal force to the sorbent articles to cause removal of oil-based fluids therefrom such that the fluids travel from the basket into an annular area between the basket and the housing and from the housing to a fluid recovery tank and the sorbent articles are essentially fluid free.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2000
    Inventors: David L. Briggs, John K. Clement, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6143172
    Abstract: A plurality of water- and oil-porous sacks are partially filled with a number of generally toroidal bodies of a polymer material that entraps oil and including mesh fragments scattered throughout the bodies. Each sack is sewn with a perimeter stiffening ring, to retain a flat profile, and has a netting that closes to help inhibit outflow of the oil when the sack is retrieved. When deployed from ship or by air onto a spill, the sacks spread into a pancake shape and the polymer matter forms a single layer that retains the oil. The inventive sacks will float indefinitely without releasing the oil or allowing it to emulsify, so the oil can remain in place until collection efforts are feasible. The sacks can be burned in situ, or standard fishing boats or specialized collection boats can be used to retrieve the sacks, and the collected material can be burned to capture the energy content of the oil or processed to separate the oil from the polymer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2000
    Assignee: Abtech Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Glenn R. Rink, Robert L. Rosania, David R. Smith, Thomas C. Johnson
  • Patent number: 6110863
    Abstract: An absorption mat 1 is described which is suitable for receiving organic hydrocarbons in liquid, paste-like or solid form, for example, oil, fats, fuels and solvents. The absorption mat is characterized by a plate-like and/or block-like molded body 2 made of rubber granulate 3 or rubber shavings 3 brought into a bond with each other to define a shape with the mat being received in a trough 6 or the like open at one side thereof and made of a material or at least containing a layer 7 resistant to the hydrocarbons and seated in a trough 6 open at one end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2000
    Assignee: Clouth Gummiwerke Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Wilhelm Engst
  • Patent number: 6099723
    Abstract: A water- and oil-porous sack contains a hydrophobic, compliant, oil-absorbent, copolymer material arranged in a number of bodies that (a) are generally cylindrical, (b) are porous, (c) have at least one passageway parallel to the axis of the cylinder, and (d) are dimensioned to float on water with the axis parallel to the surface of the water. The material is formed with a binder in a novel extrusion process. The inventive sack is sewn to create a number of pockets, and the seams create fold lines that permit the sack to dip below the water to allow debris to pass. The inventive sacks can be suspended below a storm drain and used in conjunction with known catchbasin inserts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2000
    Assignee: Abtech Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: James F. Morris, Stephen C. Stelpstra
  • Patent number: 6063274
    Abstract: A self-leveling skimmer attached to a boat is designed to remove a top surface layer of liquid while maintaining a constant position relative to the surface of the liquid layer. While maintaining a constant position relative to the top surface layer of liquid, the device provides for continuous removal of the top surface layer of liquid of a constant thickness regardless of changes in the elevation of the surface of the top liquid layer. The device includes multiple hollow bodies that rotate independently about a shaft. The shaft is situated parallel to the surface of the top liquid layer. Each hollow body has a lengthwise opening. The edge closest to the top surface layer of liquid forms a weir. The weir has a repetitive triangular or V-notch shape. A suction line extends into each hollow body so as to remove the liquid collected therein. Each hollow body is capable of rotating about the shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Inventor: Ceferino Aponte Rivera
  • Patent number: 6030536
    Abstract: A method for easily decomposing viscous, solidified spilled fuel oil or crude oil containing sea water and other disposal inhibiting substances. Titanium dioxide particles are added to viscous spilled fuel oil recovered in drums in a weight ratio of at least 0.2 to 1 times. Fuel oil is specifically adsorbed by the adsorbent and the mixture can be suspended in water. The suspension is filtered by a coarse filter to remove substances interfering with disposal by the oil. This filtrate is passed through a high performance filter (of sufficiently fine mesh to retain the adsorbent) so that the adsorbent is recovered, and sea water and other substances are discarded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 29, 2000
    Assignee: Japan Cycle Nuclear Development Institute
    Inventors: Yukio Wada, Kazumasa Kosugi, Masaki Ozawa, Kaoru Sugawara, Hidechiyo Kashihara, Nobuyuki Sasao
  • Patent number: 6027652
    Abstract: A process is described for using tropical fibers to recover spilled oil, gasoline, kerosene, hydrocarbons, pentachlorophenol, creosote or other hazardous liquids from land or water. The sorbent fiber material is produced from agricultural byproducts from cultivation of banana, plantain, cavendish plant, pineapple, coconut, palm, or other tropical fruit bearing plants. The sorbent fibers are produced by separating the raw plant materials; washing the separated fibers in a solution of 1% alum; pressing the fibers to extract liquids and natural juices; further separating the fibers by beating or agitating; and drying the fibers. The sorbent fibers have a water and natural liquid content of less than 10% by weight and may be applied to the surface or periphery of an oil or chemical spill, whereupon they will sorb the oil or chemical. Once the oil or chemical is sorbed the fibers may be collected and the oil or chemical may be partially recovered by compressing the fibers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2000
    Assignee: FyBx Environmental, Inc.
    Inventors: Dimitrios George Hondroulis, Ian Paul Ratowsky, Neville William Kingham, Katherine Tracy Bergquist-Kingham
  • Patent number: 6027653
    Abstract: A method for the removal of organic compounds from columns of air or water. The method utilizes a solidifying organic polymer-based filtration media and activated carbon placed in separate containers and arranged in an in-line, two phase process to extract organic compounds and metals from feed streams containing emulsified or suspended concentrations of organic contaminants by absorbing and solidifying the organics into an easily retrievable, disposable mass. The treated feed streams exit the process containing acceptable limits of the organic compounds and metals within the fluid columns to permit their free release into the environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2000
    Inventor: Herbert W. Holland
  • Patent number: 6017452
    Abstract: An oil retention barrier (1) over which oil cannot splash over when the barrier is hauled in consists of several floating partial cells (8, 15, 16) and several smaller partial cells (7, 21) that are submerged in water, arranged and joined together in such a way that a flow channel (24) is created therebetween. For that purpose, one of the partial cells (15) is positioned in front of the other floating partial cells (8, 16) and joined to the floating partial cell (8) and to the submerged partial cell (9) by spacers (18, 23) that create said flow channel (24). The floating partial cells (8, 15, 16) are filled with waterproofed glass fibers or glass fiber mats, whereas the submerged partial cells (9, 21, 26) are filled with a non waterproofed material, in particular glass fibers. The flow channel (24) prevents banking-up pressure from building up in front of the barrier (1), so that the latter can be hauled in with practically no problems. The oil (4) cannot splash over the barrier nor flow underneath it.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2000
    Inventor: Helmut Schiwek
  • Patent number: 6001263
    Abstract: A method and composition for dispersing oil. Distiller's dried grain is applied to an oil spill or to an animal or object contacted with oil. The distiller's dried grain sorbs and disperses the oil, allowing dispersal of the oil in open water or removal of the oil from the animal or object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1999
    Assignee: Nurture Inc.
    Inventors: Gordon E. Working, Lori C. Moffatt, Richard C. Potter
  • Patent number: 5971659
    Abstract: Hollow tubular segments, preferably in the form of pretreated hollow core fiber segments, and a method, for gathering or collecting and removing an oil spill floating atop a body of water. The preferably fuel oil-pretreated segments are hydrophobic having a resulting density such that, when disposed atop the oil spill, the pretreated segments absorb or draw the spilled oil by capillary action into the interiors and remain afloat atop the water to prevent further dispersion of the oil spill and to facilitate gathering of the spilled oil filled segments. After use, the spilled oil may be drawn from the segments by heat and/or forced air, the segments then being reusable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1999
    Inventor: James A. Patterson
  • Patent number: 5968354
    Abstract: An apparatus for recovering an oil-based liquid from a body of liquid including the oil-based liquid. The apparatus includes a pair of cooperating rollers defining a nip therebetween, an endless loop of oil-based liquid absorbent material that passes through the nip and extends from the cooperating rollers along a path into the oil-based liquid in the body to absorb the oil-based liquid from the body, and a diverter engaged with the material and spaced from the cooperating rollers along the path. The material is conveyed by the cooperating rollers along the path from the body and squeezed at the nip by the cooperating rollers to force the oil-based liquid to flow along the material. The diverter guides the oil-based liquid away from the material as the oil-based liquid flows along the material from the cooperating rollers. A scraper is engaged with the material ahead of the cooperating rollers along the path to remove debris from material prior to the material passing through the cooperating rollers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Inventor: Herman E. Brinkley
  • Patent number: 5965030
    Abstract: This invention relates to a method for removing liquid contaminant from surfaces, especially for removing spilled oil from the surface of water. More particularly, this invention relates to a method for removing liquid contaminant from a surface by applying a mat which is a nonwoven fabric having a dried substantially continuous aqueous foam coating on at least one side of the nonwoven fabric, whereby the foam coating absorbs at least some of the liquid contaminant. This invention also relates to a reusable mat for removing liquid contaminants from surfaces and a method for reusing the mat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1999
    Assignee: Rohm and Haas Company
    Inventors: Martin M. Williams, Rodney J. Trahan, Jr., Kenneth R. Rose
  • Patent number: 5961823
    Abstract: Oil coagulant compositions, and methods of using such compositions to coagulate the oil that has been spilled on water are prepared from a thermal reaction utilizing an oil component selected from the group consisting of glycerides, fatty acids, alkenes and alkynes, and a copolymer component. Representative polymers include, for example, isobutyl methacrylate polymers, and representative oil components include, for example, glycerides such as those derived from a drying oil such as linseed oil. The composition of the present invention floats on the water surface and coagulates oil independent of both agitation and temperature, and can be used in both salt and fresh water. After the coagulant has coagulated the spilled oil, the floating coagulated oil can be readily removed from the water by mechanical means such that at least 99.9% of the oil is removed from the water and only a faint trace of oil remains in the water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1999
    Assignee: Mansfield & Alper, Inc.
    Inventor: Haluk Alper
  • Patent number: 5948266
    Abstract: A portable liquid surface skimmer efficiently removes small spills of petroleum derivatives from the surface of water, and is useful, for example, on thin sheen spills of oil or gasoline, in boating marinas. The skimmer is controlled by a long handle held by an operator, with a swivel connection to the skimmer body. The skimmer body is placed in the water empty, to take on a controlled amount of water as ballast, putting the skimmer at a proper level to skim the surface using a floating weir. A withdrawal conduit from the skimmer's sump leads to a storage tank or more preferably to some form of separator on shore or on a dock, for further separation of water from the contaminants. In one preferred form of the system and method, the skimmed oil/water mix is passed through a special filter medium which removes the petroleum sufficiently that the water can be returned to its source, eliminating the need for hauling large volumes of liquid away to a disposal site.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: U.S. Hydrex, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas J. Gore, James Ramsey, Michael D. Hanrahan
  • Patent number: 5948250
    Abstract: A portable berm for use in and out of doors. The berm includes a impervious flexible synthetic floor which has a berm wall formed about its periphery. The berm wall comprises a plurality of elongated plastic strips which are attached to the floor along their inner and outer edges each forming a cavity which extend around the floor. A plurality of openings are formed in the strips adjacent at least their edges. An adsorbent and absorbent hydrophobic material which allows water to pass through but absorbs chemical contaminants is positioned within the cavities to extend about the floor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: Basic Concepts, Inc.
    Inventor: Dennis G. Middleton
  • Patent number: 5908558
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for removal of contaminants from fluid columns utilizes a solidifying polymer-based filtration media to extract pollutants, such as organic compounds and metals. Dissolved, emulsified or suspended contaminants are absorbed and solidified into an easily retrievable mass and retained within a replaceable filter container. Solidified contaminants may not leach when exposed to pressure limits currently used to determine landfill acceptability, may be incinerated as fuel for their BTU content or used as a component in the production of asphalt, roofing material or other tar-like compounds. Treated fluid columns exit the process containing acceptable levels of contaminants to permit free release into the environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 1, 1999
    Inventor: Herbert W. Holland
  • Patent number: 5906572
    Abstract: A device for collection and containment of spilled or leaked liquid hydrocarbons absorbs pollutants that come in contact. The absorbed material is solidified-within the pillow into a rubber-like mass. An impermeable layer-of material may be utilized in forming the bottom layer of the outer envelope of the device to retain accumulated hydrocarbons-within the pillow while further allowing the contaminants to disperse throughout the device for absorption and solidification. The impermeable layer prevents spilled or leaked hydrocarbons from contaminating the surface below the device. The consolidated mass is easily retrieved and handled for disposal. A variety of options may be utilized in disposing of the spent device, including recycling the rubber-like mass as a component of tar-like materials, such as asphalt. The solidified hydrocarbons will not leech when exposed to pressure limits used to determine landfill suitability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 25, 1999
    Inventor: Herbert W. Holland
  • Patent number: 5885451
    Abstract: An apparatus and method is disclosed for containment and recovery of water-insoluble liquids, e.g., oil, floating on water. The apparatus and method involves using a fibrous material coated or saturated with a composition which will absorb substantial quantities of the water-insoluble organic liquid (oil) while substantially repelling the water in which the water-insoluble organic liquid is floating. The fibrous material may be a fabric, a paper, a sponge, a sheet or a film and is coated or impregnated with an oleophylic, hydrophobic composition. Such materials as cotton, jute, hemp, wool, Rayon, Dacron, paper, polyester, and polyurethane, in various forms and combinations may be used.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 1990
    Date of Patent: March 23, 1999
    Inventor: Dennis J. Porrovecchio, Sr.
  • Patent number: 5863440
    Abstract: A plurality of water- and oil-porous sacks are partially filled with a number of generally toroidal bodies of a polymer material that entraps oil and including mesh fragments scattered throughout the bodies. Each sack is sewn with a perimeter stiffening ring, to retain a flat profile, and has a netting that closes to help inhibit outflow of the oil when the sack is retrieved. When deployed from ship or by air onto a spill, the sacks spread into a pancake shape and the polymer matter forms a single layer that retains the oil. The inventive sacks will float indefinitely without releasing the oil or allowing it to emulsify, so the oil can remain in place until collection efforts are feasible. The sacks can be burned in situ, or standard fishing boats or specialized collection boats can be used to retrieve the sacks, and the collected material can be burned to capture the energy content of the oil or processed to separate the oil from the polymer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 26, 1999
    Assignee: Abtech Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Glenn R. Rink, Robert L. Rosania, David R. Smith, Thomas C. Johnson, Jan R. Hegeman, Peter A. Allen
  • Patent number: 5844011
    Abstract: Method and composition for selectively removing liquid hydrocarbon from floors and other hard surfaces comprising granular polyisocyanurate foam. The composition desirably includes a particulate material having a bulk density greater than the polyisocyanurate foam for increasing the overall bulk density of the composition and imparting slip resistance to the floor or hard surface. Suitable particulate material includes angular sand and comminuted cellular glass. The granular polyisocyanurate foam and particulate material can be supplied from scrap material to reduce cost and landfill waste.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1998
    Inventor: Raymond J. Gaudin
  • Patent number: 5843241
    Abstract: Method and composition for selectively removing liquid hydrocarbon from floors and other hard surfaces comprising granular polyisocyanurate foam. The composition desirably includes a particulate material having a bulk density greater than the polyisocyanurate foam for increasing the overall bulk density of the composition and imparting slip resistance to the floor or hard surface. Suitable particulate material includes angular sand and comminuted cellular glass. The granular polyisocyanurate foam and particulate material can be supplied from scrap material to reduce cost and landfill waste.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1998
    Inventor: Raymond J. Gaudin
  • Patent number: 5833862
    Abstract: A method for the removal of organic compounds from columns of air or water. The method utilizes a solidifying organic polymer-based filtration media and activated carbon placed in separate containers and arranged in an in-line, two phase process to extract organic compounds and metals from feed streams containing emulsified or suspended concentrations of organic contaminants by absorbing and solidifying the organics into an easily retrievable, disposable mass. The treated feed streams exit the process containing acceptable limits of the organic compounds and metals within the fluid columns to permit their free release into the environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1998
    Inventor: Herbert W. Holland
  • Patent number: 5830281
    Abstract: A method for using a heretofore industrial waste material for the utilitarian purpose of controlling and containing a liquid on a hard surface. The method includes the steps of accumulating an industrial waste material in the form of paper dust in a bindery for use as a loose filler for a container, forming a container from a fabric having a porosity sufficient for passage of the liquid therethrough, substantially entirely filling the container with the paper dust as accumulated at the bindery, and thereafter closing the container after it has been substantially filled with the accumulated paper dust from the bindery. Additionally, the method includes placing the container on the surface after closing in order to control and contain the liquid on the hard surface thereby.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 3, 1998
    Assignee: R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company
    Inventors: Phillip A. Kliewer, Jeffrey J. Smith
  • Patent number: 5797700
    Abstract: The present invention provides a composition for dispersing oil slicks comprising a twin tail surfactant or mixture of twin tail surfactants having the general formula: ##STR1## wherein R.sub.1 and R.sub.3 may be the same or different alkyl or alkenyl groups; R.sub.2 is H or OH; and x is from 1 to about 20.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 25, 1998
    Assignee: Exxon Research and Engineering Company
    Inventors: Ramesh Varadaraj, Max Leo Robbins, Salvatore James Pace, Cornelius Hendrick Brons
  • Patent number: 5788865
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a process for separating a hydrophobic liquid from a substantially polar medium through the application of expanded graphite particles. Upon contacting the hydrophobic liquid floating agglomerates of expanded graphite and hydrophobic liquid are formed which may easily be removed from the polar liquid by mechanical means. Following the removal of the agglomerates from the polar medium, the hydrophobic liquid may be separated with little effort and recycled. Further, the adsorptive properties of the expanded graphite can be regenerated allowing the material to be used repeatedly. The present invention is particularly useful for removing liquid hydrocarbons from contaminated bodies of water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 4, 1998
    Assignee: Herbert F. Boeckman, II
    Inventors: Aleksandr Vitalievich Smirnov, Oleg Georgievich Orlov, Pyotr Nikolaevich Golipad, Yurii Nikolaevich Koriakin, Leonid Tmofyeecvich Vyalchenkov
  • Patent number: 5730558
    Abstract: A device for collection and containment of spilled or leaked liquid hydrocarbons absorbs pollutants that come in contact. The absorbed material is solidified within the pillow into a rubber-like mass. An impermeable layer of material may be utilized in forming the bottom layer of the outer envelope of the device to retain accumulated hydrocarbons within the pillow while further allowing the contaminants to disperse throughout the device for absorption and solidification. The impermeable layer prevents spilled or leaked hydrocarbons from contaminating the surface below the device. The consolidated mass is easily retrieved and handled for disposal. A variety of options may be utilized in disposing of the spent device, including recycling the rubber-like mass as a component of tar-like materials, such as asphalt. The solidified hydrocarbons will not leech when exposed to pressure limits used to determine landfill suitability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1998
    Inventor: Herbert W. Holland
  • Patent number: 5730880
    Abstract: Process for removing unwanted material from wanted material containing water by bringing an isocyanate-containing prepolymer into contact with the materials, allowing the prepolymer to react with the water to form a flexible foam and removing the foam obtained from the wanted material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1998
    Assignee: Imperial Chemical Industries PLC
    Inventors: Dirk Gerber, Peter Michel Gerber, Viviane Gertrude Johanna Neyens, Peter Frans Eugeen Maria Stroobants
  • Patent number: 5730868
    Abstract: The instant invention is a reusable housing for placement of petroleum absorbent polypropylene material within a chamber for placement in the bilge area of a boat. The polypropylene material is capable of absorbing petroleum products such as diesel fuel, engine oil, transmission oil, and the like petroleum products while repelling water. The housing has a plurality of through holes for accessing the chamber allowing fluid passage with a convenient threaded coupling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1998
    Inventor: Peter J. Cordani
  • Patent number: 5705076
    Abstract: A method for filtering contaminants from a mixture containing an oil-based fluid and a non-oil based fluid is provided. The method includes the steps of providing an oil-based fluid absorbent cloth of man-made fibers, the absorbent cloth having at least a portion thereof that is napped so as to define voids therein; forcing the mixture to flow through the absorbent cloth; trapping, in the absorbent cloth, contaminants from the mixture as the mixture is forced through the absorbent cloth; and absorbing, with the absorbent cloth, the oil-based fluid from the mixture while allowing the non-oil based fluid to flow through the absorbent cloth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 6, 1998
    Inventor: Herman E. Brinkley
  • Patent number: 5693204
    Abstract: An apparatus for adjusting the pH of an electrolytically dissociated process stream is disclosed. The apparatus includes a matrix of pH adjusting chemical and an erosion rate modifier. The pH adjusting chemical is preferably citric acid and the erosion rate modifier is preferably polyethylene glycol. A porous material such as a sponge may be interposed between the matrix and the process stream to further modify the erosion rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 2, 1997
    Assignee: Great Lakes Instruments Inc.
    Inventor: William J. Popp
  • Patent number: 5688074
    Abstract: In order to control oil accidents and to prevent the oil film drifting on the water from spreading, an oil adsorber 1 is provided, in particular shaped as a barrier 2. This barrier 2 is designed in two parts. Both cells 9, 10 are completely filled with glass fiber material or with corresponding fiber mats 11, 12. The glass fibers 28, 30 of the top cell 9 are waterproofed, by an appropriate coating, whereas the fibers of the bottom cell 10 are not treated, so that they absorb water 6. In both cases epoxy resin or a synthetic resin having the same or similar properties are used, so that a long service life is achieved with optimum solidity and design possibilities. The oil adsorbers 1 thus obtained may be used both as barriers 2 and as flat suction elements, for example to clear bilge waters from ships 3. It is also conceivable to use the flat or funnel-shaped elements for collecting components of an aqueous solution, for example.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 18, 1997
    Inventor: Helmut Schiwek