First of all it is necessary to specify that we are talking about removing, extracting, harmful "things" from the water and never injecting products that dissolve or sink these harmful "things". The only inflating that we can take into consideration is relative to oxygenators that revive flora and, consequently, fauna.
There are best practices both for prevention and for cleaning up pollution.
In the case of oil spills, which in any case have occurred, it is necessary: maximum rapidity of the interventions, containment of the dispersion, removal of the spilled oil (in the Gulf of Mexico less than 5% of the spilled oil has been removed).
Waste and plastics, without prejudice to prevention, can only be removed or abandoned to their degradation destiny with all the known and unknown consequences.
Light Oil Films Remediation
Keeping a restricted under the coast area free from patches of oil is not a disaster-like heavy oil spill or emergency; it is an ordinary maintenance operation in the presence of a few liters of oils per km² ,floating on the water.
Maintenance may include the emergency but not the breaking up in two of an oil tanker. For example it could be a spill of oil (100 liters?) that accidentally escapes during operations of connection or disconnection of an oil tanker to a pipe line.
A few liters per week or month do not require separation (which would also be very inefficient since we would have to treat tons of water to extract a few liters of oil) but need filtering.
The filtering, with absorbent pads, is the way still followed today, but in a long, complicated, dirty and expensive way because it requires numerous personnel and a lot of time. TJP has set itself the goal of rationalizing and simplifying the process, making it effective and at the same time easy, clean and economical.
Please consider the table opposite:
the thicknesses of the silver and rainbow slicks are minimal.
By transforming the volumes from m³/km² to l/km² we easily obtain for the silvery slicks 0.0001 l/km² and for the rainbow slicks 0.0003 l/km².
The OilKiller filter-bag is able to absorb up to 25 liters of oily residues.
Here below is a brief and non-exhaustive overview of the devices and methods used today.
Booms and Pads
They need boats, people to transport, position, move on the water, collect and bring back to earth.
Energy is needed and a support vessel that drops the skimmer with a crane. They work at a fixed point.
The same as Oleophilic.
Oil booms and pads
on Oily Slicks
OilKiller was born specifically to meet the need to eliminate oily films from waters in restricted areas below the coast in civil, social and industrial sites.
OilKiller is based on known, tested and economical principles. In fact, it is an optimization of the merging of a weir skimmers and absorbent pads and works in the same way as a domestic vacuum cleaner: there is a mouth (patented) with which it grabs the dirt from the surface of the water and a filter (patented) that retains it. When the filter is saturated it is replaced in the same way as a vacuum cleaner's bag is changed.
The only needed energy for the operation of OilKiller is that required for navigation. There are no pumps, pipes, tanks or complications of any kind. For its management, OilKiller does not need specialized personnel, it is easy to use, efficient in its yield and transportable on a standard truck to be easily moved between neighboring areas.
Each filter-bag refill is able to store up to 25 liters of oily debris, depending on the required equipment.
Oil spillage is a crucial environmental catastrophe of universal interest.
They occur either inadvertently or deliberately as a result mostly from everyday human activities through releases into coastal waters and land but also by serious accidents to oil tankers or extraction wells.
Conventional countermeasures for oil spill remediation in the aquatic environment include various physical, chemical, thermal, and biological processes.
We're mainly going to consider absorbent pads and booms, mechanical extraction by oil skimmers, in situ burning and dispersant.
The Oil Booms and Absorbent Pads materials and their use are similar to those illustrated in the "Oil Slicks" section. While the booms are widely used even on the high seas, the absorbent pads are mainly used below the coast to reduce damage to rocks, beaches and infrastructures.
Oil Skimmers for heavy spills can be similar to oleophilic or weir skimmers, naturally appropriately designed, but often they are real ships made specifically for the purpose.
On situ burning is a practice, widely used in the Gulf of Mexico, that has the serious contraindication of transferring pollution from water to air.
The dispersants, widely used in the Gulf of Mexico too, have the contraindication of transferring pollution from water to the column of itself.
Primary Use: Oil Spills on Land or Water
Primary Benefit: Quick, Effective, Oil CleanUp
Fine Fiber Mat
Primary Use: Absorbs Oil and Leaks; not Water
Primary Benefit: Speeds CleanUp
Eco Tech Mat
Primary Use: Soaking Up Machine Leaks and Overspray
Primary Benefit: Recycled is Better for the Environment
A floating elements system keeps the edge of the skimmer at the level of the water surface.
Energy, pumps and pipes system on a support vessel are required.
A floating suction head is connected to a vacuum system and driven to suck the Oil Spill.
DISKS AND DRUMS
They are based on the properties of some materials, first of all aluminum, to make the oils adhere to their surface and repel water. With their movement they extract the oils from the water and subsequent knives remove the oil from their surface and send it to a suction tube. They need energy and a support vessel; they work at a fixed point.
ROPES AND BRUSHES
Rope and Brush Skimmer are based on the movement of a sort of Belt that enters and leaves the water. The wrung belt enters and when it comes out it drags with it the oil that has clung to it. Subsequently the belt is squeezed on board the support vessel and here the oil is released into special tanks.
in Oil Spill Response
Can OilKiller be profitably used in an Oil Spill Response theater? Yes of course! Naturally not as an autonomous device in all respects: OilKiller was not born to make crossings in the open sea nor to load tons of oil. We therefore need special measures and a ship that transports it and acts as a mother ship. Then a fleet of OilKiller made available by different shipowners and institutions could be very profitably used and give surprising results.
First of all consider that the aft part of the OilKiller interception and collection system, the TJP TRAIN, can be equipped with different skimming systems instead of the Filter-Box.
Disk OilKiller Skimmer
Weir OilKiller Skimmer
Pump OilKiller Skimmer
Configured in one of these modes, OilKiller functions as an efficient skimmer head, piloted by a sailor, able to follow oil streaks precisely. The distance from the mother ship to which it can go depends on the power of the pumps or vacuum generators installed on the ship itself.
Another chance is to pilot the OilKillers from the deck of the ship with cable commands; in that case the control cables are placed side by side with the suction pipe. It is also possible to install a remote control to eliminate possible cable breaks.
For minor spilling the Filter-Box can be used for greater freedom of action with clearly lower costs than those required for an equipped mother ship. The only care will be to change the Filter-Bags set frequently.
Now some eloquent self-explanatory images on how and where OilKiller could give its useful help.
OilKiller loaded on transport ships, cargo or oil tankers for emergency intervention in case of accidental losses.
OilKiller engaged in Oil Spill Response:
• on its own without support
• in a small fleet following the path of oil slicks, assisted by a cargo boat transporting Filter-Bags, the refills and the saturated ones
• as smart skimmer heads, with a specially equipped mothership.
The high costs both of the means for oil spill response and of their management is the reason why there are few organizations equipped with the necessary money and devices and, consequently, few ports from which spill remediation operations that can occur anywhere in the seas can start, even very far from the residence of the organizations.
The definition of the intervention model of TJP aims to divide and distribute as much as possible both the costs of OSR interventions and the means for them useful.
OilKiller is not a special device dedicated to serious spill accidents at sea but an economic tool for cleaning and maintenance of restricted areas, civil and industrial, of the sea. For this reason it can be widely distributed throughout the world. The mother ship is any tanker equipped with a crane and on which to load some suction pump units.
In this way, on the occasion of the need for an intervention, it will be enough to gather as much OilKiller as possible and prepare one or more motherships, in the closest ports to the accident, to reach the disaster site.
Furthermore, the low cost of OilKiller will allow many benefactors to contribute to the clean-up operations by purchasing directly one or more OilKillers and making them available to the remediation organization.
The standardization of the system will not require any adaptation work, neither additional costs nor loss of time.
The investment of lenders, benefactors, tycoons and firm's brands would be a great promotional vehicle with significant image returns.
The intervention model for the plastics collection with TJP Jonathan/George is also based on the same principles.
Common items of marine litter in the sea include cigarette butts, crisp/sweet packets, cotton bud sticks, bags and bottles.
Man-made items of debris are found in marine habitats throughout the world, from the poles to the equator, from shorelines and estuaries to remote areas of the high seas, and from the sea surface to the ocean floor.
The plant debris comes from algae and flora which, especially during heavy rains, precipitates in the water leaves, branches, twigs and trunks.
Lake of Sebino
Along the seafront infrastructures as well as of lakes and rivers, accumulations of dirt and floating plants are formed as consequence of human routine life and the weathering and they generate bad views and bad odors, so damaging to social well-being and the business of tourism.
Phosphates and nitrates that flow from urban, industrial and agricultural drainages into the waters generate an excess of nourishment that favors the proliferation of algae, inflorescences and mucilages.
Local Administrations and economic activities that gravitate on the surface of seas, lakes and rivers, for example restaurants, resorts, hotels, marinas and tourism in general, are seriously damaged by the presence of this waste along their coasts. For this reason they are engaged in their removal with a plurality of devices designed for the purpose.
The main problem in performing this type of remediation is the handling of collected garbage. In most cases, the rubbish is first dropped on the deck of the sweeper boat, then unloaded on a dock to be loaded on a lorry and at lat the end transported to a landfill.
To rationalize the solution to this problem we designed our Jonathan/George boat starting from the idea of filling with garbage a box with the exact size of a standard container. In this way the collected garbage does not dirt the bridge of the boat and can be transferred directly from the boat to a truck to be transported it to landfill.
Jonathan/George can be equipped with the "TJP Train" intercepting and collecting system for oily pollutants and this allows the simultaneous removal of solid garbage and reduction of oil pollution. The boat can also be equipped with an automatic unit for continuous analysis of water heathiness and a sprinkling system for oxygenation and revitalization of aquatic flora and fauna.
Moreover the operator is far from the garbage in a closed and properly air-conditioned cabin.
To date the problem of facing up to the reduction of the enormous masses of plastic waste on the high seas has been faced only hypothetically with huge investments and a proliferation of projects but in practice nothing has yet been done
The trend seems to be to use large-scale autonomous robotic devices, equipped with subsystems for the immediate treatment of plastics and their compaction and storage. Naturally there are great difficulties to overcome: there is the problem of the necessary energy that is considered to be withdrawn from solar cell systems, wind and wave's motion; then there is the need for large spaces for storage and loading systems for compacted plastic bales and finally the need for self-discipline in the presence of adverse weather events such as storms, winds, currents, etc.
These problems cannot be positively resolved except with the aid of artificial intelligence and satellite controls. The size and management systems therefore require a great deal of effort, both in terms of economy and intelligence, and the result will be the completion of extremely expensive projects of systems still difficult to manage. It is therefore no coincidence that the first attempts at operation of these devices failed.
TJP, consistently with its line of thought, has chosen the target of an easily achievable, economically sustainable and certainly effective model of remediation system. Moreover, right next to the Italian coasts, in the Sanctuary of the Cetaceans located between Isola d'Elba and Corsica, there is an accumulation of plastics and garbage and that is our first goal of intervention.
We have therefore adopted Jonathan/George and its method of collecting and handling waste and plastics.
The mother ship is a normal container carrier that loads a certain number of Jonathan/George and hundreds of empty containers to transport everything to the reclamation area. George, put into the water, provide to fill its container with garbage; then the full container is loaded on the mothership to be replaced with an empty one. In case of bad weather the Jonathan/George boats are loaded and sheltered on the bridge of the container carrier. When the full containers are carried to land, they are easly managed by the normal cranes to be disbarked, stored, loaded on trucks or trains to reach the landfill.
Such a kind of operational model allows to fragment and subdivide costs among various players, including benefactors, tycoons and large companies, who can have a significant image return as well as a recognition of their environmental care.
Research and development for the future in the field of recovering oil spills or plastic garbage range from the criteria of preparedness for organizing responses to new devices projects and to innovations in the chemical, physical and biological fields. Mechatronics and Artificial Intelligence are certainly the sciences that will propose the most exciting innovations, all aimed at the design of autonomous systems.
Oil Spill Response
New coastal oil-spill response vessels won't be going into service right away.
Fleet of aircraft-deployed robots to collect and refine oil spills.
What do remotely controlled surfboards have to do with oil spills?
A new membrane, mimicking the way fishes eat, easily separates and collects spilled oil.
The world’s first autonomous vessel designed to tackle oil spills.
Bio-Cleaner, designed for cleaning the seas and oceans from oil spills.