Elastec CEO Donnie Wilson has announced the launch of new oil spill recovery technology. The X150 Skimmer Launching System is a seamless oil spill response system with the capability to recover light, medium and some heavy oils in incidents such as the Deepwater Horizon blowout/BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
“This system is a turning point in offshore and near shore mechanical oil spill recovery technology. If the X Skimmer Launching System had been available in concert with our fire boom systems in the Gulf Spill in 2010, the oil cleanup operation would have been much faster and more efficient,” Wilson stated.
Successful sea trials of Elastec’s new system were conducted recently in the Gulf of Mexico near Port Fourchon a few miles from where one of the worst oil spill disasters in U.S. history took place five years ago.
The centerpiece of the new launching system is the X150 skimmer, the first commercial model Elastec developed incorporating the company’s patented grooved disc technology that won the first place prize of $1 million in the X Prize Foundation’s global Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Challenge.
The X150 skimmer is a workhorse in recovering extreme volumes of oil. It has a verified nameplate oil recovery rate (ORR) of 660 gallons of oil per minute (150 cu. m per hour) and an oil recovery efficiency (ORE: oil-to-water collection rate) of 87.6 percent.
However, the high volume oil recovery rate of the X150 skimmer is only part of the story.
Jeff Cantrell, Elastec co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, explained the engineering premise of the X Skimmer Launching System, “With the X150 at its heart, the total system collects, encounters, skims, pumps and transfers the oil to storage in one seamless operation – while being towed at speeds up to three knots or while standing still. It is a well-conceived oil recovery flow-through system for offshore or nearshore operations.”
Easily operated by three people, the launcher does all the heavy lifting by hydraulically telescoping the X150 skimmer from the stern of the vessel into the ocean. Attached to the X150 are two legs of a rugged, single-point, air-inflatable boom to sweep and guide the oil into the mouth of the skimmer. One leg of the boom is attached to the vessel, and the other leg is attached to an ELASTEC BoomVane to hold the boom in a “U” configuration as it is towed behind the vessel. The BoomVane takes the place of a second vessel which saves time and money and also reduces ship-to-ship communication issues.
The self-contained system is wirelessly remote controlled and includes the launcher, the X150 skimmer, boom and reel, BoomVane and power unit. Hydraulic and discharge hoses are built into the sweep boom, eliminating external umbilicals. The complete system fits into a 20-foot (6m) high-cube shipping container for rapid global shipment.
“The turnkey Elastec X Skimmer Launching System is an environmentally intelligent system – truly a game-changer in oil spill response technology,” said Cantrell. “This system should be the cornerstone of any offshore or nearshore response organizations’ environmental cleanup equipment – before the next major oil spill happens.”
See what the skimmer can do in this informative video: https://vimeo.com/131144765