Investigation of materials and methods for use in removing surface layers of oil on water
Houston, Billy J.
Miscellaneous paperAbstract: Oil pollution caused by accidental or purposeful spillage of oily contaminants on the seas has long been a problem that has progressively become more acute as more and larger shipments of petroleum and petroleum products are made each year. The breakup of the supertanker TORREY CANYON off the French and English coasts, spilling over 100,000 tons of crude oil, and of the smaller OCEAN EAGLE in San Juan Harbor, Puerto Rico, spilling 6,000-,000 gal of oi1, have dramatized these results of the problem. The objective of this program was to determine by literature search and correspondence materials and methods which offer potential solutions to pollution problems resulting from oil spillage. All methods deemed worthwhile were compiled and reported, but special emphasis was placed on floating and sinking oil-absorbing materials. Samples of silicone-treated fly ash, made and tested in England following the TORREY CANYON disaster, were obtained and tested to determine their effectiveness in absorbing and sinking oil. Two similar samples made in the United States were also tested, as were samples of high-absorptive swelling clays and a synthetic silica. Some laboratory burning tests were conducted to evaluate methods of burning oil on water. The results of the literature search and laboratory tests indicate that floating and sinking oil-absorbent materials have definite possibilities as effective weapons for combating pollution.
Concrete Laboratory (U.S.)Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Oil pollution; Water surface; Torrey Canyon (Ship); Fly ash; Silica; Clay
Miscellaneous paper (U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station) ; C-68-5.
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.