How to use a trawling invention to stop oil spills
Only small details remain before Egersund Trawl and Marine Oil Spill Sweeper’s fishing net come oil spill collector is complete.
We all know how it ended: Beaches were soiled and BP had to pay billions in compensation.
MD Group and producer Egersund Trawl had already started to develop a collection system based on trawling back then. To put it simply, a trawling-like construction that is towed at the surface to collect oil spills rather than fish.
Deflectors inside the V-shaped head channel concentrate the oil spill that is then collected by and oil recovery unit at the rear. From there, the oil is pumped into tanks on a containment vessel.
“At first, we hauled the equipment behind the stern just like a regular trawl. However, the wake and propellers can spread the oil. Now we have developed a new technique where we use only one paravane to sweep parallel to the tow vessel,” says Egersund Trawl director Bjørn Havsø.
Traditional sea booms have skirts up to one metre deep. Large forces are used to take a lot of unnecessary water with them when towing these types of booms. The oil film on the surface is in fact rarely more than a millimetre thick.
The Marine Oil Spill (MOS) Sweeper is dynamic and moves with the sea surface. As a result, this equipment can be operated at 3-4 knots rather than just one for conventional booms.
“Everything, including the recovery unit and pumps can be packed in standard containers,” Bjørn Havsø explains.