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January/February 2009
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Oil Skimmers

Oil skimmer nameplate capacities are used to evaluate system performance for spill response planning standards. While manufacturers had been free to state any value as to the theoretical capacity of an oil skimmer, a new ASTM International standard provides a test that can be used to establish a realistic capacity. The standard, F2709, Test Method for Determining Nameplate Recovery Rate of Stationary Oil Skimmer Systems, was developed by Subcommittee F20.11 on Control, part of ASTM International Committee F20 on Hazardous Substances and Oil Spill Response.

“Our goal was to develop a test that would be simple, inexpensive and yield reproducible data that can be used to compare skimmer performance,” says Steve Potter, director and senior engineer, SL Ross Environmental Research Ltd., and chair of F20.11. “Prior to the development of this standard, manufacturers were free to state any value as to the theoretical capacity of an oil skimmer, and often used the maximum capacity of the transfer pump.”

The test method is designed to quantify two key skimmer performance values, to reduce testing costs and to encourage industry-wide performance standardization. F2709 will be used by manufacturers, response organizations and regulators to rate skimming devices in a defensible way.

CONTACT

Technical Information: Steve Potter, SL Ross Environmental Research Ltd., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Phone: 613-232-1564

ASTM Staff: Jeffrey Adkins

Phone: 610-832-9738