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A chemical dispersant spraying system for use on seagoing workboats has been developed. Using two spray booms, the system can spray a path up to 18.3 m (60 ft) wide at a speed of 8 knots, thus covering approximately 0.27 km2/h (67 acres per hour). The design is based on the use of “self-mix surfactant,” which requires little mixing energy for effective dispersion of the oil slick. Three of these systems have been completed for Clean Atlantic Associates, an oil spill cleanup cooperative.
The system is made up of an apparatus for deploying and supporting two 9.1-m (30 ft) spray booms, a 33.6-kW (45 hp) pump skid for pumping a mixture of seawater and dispersant, and Marine Portable 1892.5 litre (500 gal) tankage for storing the dispersant.
The spray apparatus is designed to be attached to the bow of the boat. This allows the boom to spray the mixture of seawater and dispersant ahead of the bow wake. Subsequent mixing energy is provided by the bow wake. When not using a self-mix dispersant, additional mixing energy can be provided by breaker boards; however, these are not included in this system.
Seawater is drawn from an overboard suction line, proportioned with the chemical dispersant at a typical ratio of 33 to 1, and pumped at high pressure, 0.62 to 0.69 N/m2 (90 to 100 psi), through fan-type nozzles.
The entire system is readily adaptable to various sizes and shapes of vessels, and operates independently of the vessel to which it is mounted.
self-mix dispersant, high-pressure spray, spray boom, flow control valve, workboat, open sea, oils, system adaptability
Development engineer, Halliburton Services, Mechanical Research & Development, Duncan, Okla.