Published: Oct 1998
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Sorbent belt skimmers use an oleophilic belt to recover oil. The belt is made of porous oleophilic material that allows the water to pass through. The belt is positioned at an angle to the water with the leading edge of the belt immersed in the slick. At the top of its rotation the belt passes through a set of rollers where oil and water are removed from the belt through a combination of scraping and squeezing. Viscous oils tend to stay on the surface of the belt and are removed by scraping. Light oils are adsorbed in the mesh of the belt and removed by squeezing. With some models, recovered water may be decanted from the storage tank. Belt skimmers are typically supplied with a flow induction device to draw fluid through the belt and reduce the head wave effect in stationary and advancing modes.