Oil Drum Skimmers
How Do Oil Drum Skimmers Work?
Oil Drum Skimmers are one of the many tools used to help clean up an oil spill. Their basic function is to systematically float over sections of contaminated water & skim the oil off the surface.
Many skimmers achieve this by featuring a rotating drum, disc or brush that rotates to collect oil off the surface, and then places this oil is a separate collection device. Oil in this separate section is then pumped out through hoses and pumping systems.
While the standard function of these skimmer remains the same, oil skimmers can vary in style, design, powering & recovery rate. You can see more about these skimmer styles by viewing our Oil Skimmers Overview Page.
Oil Drum Skimmers feature the use of a rotating drum. This drum is often made of oleophilic materials that attracts oil to the drum. As the drum rotates through the water, this oil adheres to the exterior of the drum and is removed from the water. The oil is then scraped off by scrapers located on the skimmer and placed in a separated container.
Oil drum skimmers additionally feature an operating pump that helps power the unit. This pump keeps the drum skimming system functioning, while simultaneously helping to pump the collected oil out of the system. This keeps it functioning for longer durations of time so your skimmer can cover large areas of contaminated water.
A disc skimmer functions in much of the same way as the drum, but uses revolving discs instead of a drum. Usually one skimmer contains multiple discs lined up in a row. These disc rotate in the oil-filled water and collect oil to their surface. Like with the drums, this oil is then scrapped off the surface of the disc as they are rotate, and placed into a separate container.
This container is then hooked up to a transfer pump and hose that helps move the oil out of the water and into a disposal section.
Some oil skimmer use a disc-brush system. These skimmers place brushes along the discs to help collect oil. These brushes hit a separate section of the skimmer that takes the oil off the brush and collects it in a contained unit. This oil is then transferred by means of a transfer pump & hose.
The weir skimmer features a slightly different oil collection method. Instead of actively rotating in the water, these skimmer float closer to the surface--around the place where the oil & water meet. As they are floating, oil & water float through the system. The weir collects oil while still allowing water to flow through.
Other weir skimmers feature a pontoon flotation system that includes four evenly spaced floats. This item helps the weir to adapt to changing water levels. These kind of skimmer systems can be hooked up to pump or vacuum systems.
Regardless of which oil cleanup system you decide to use, it is important that oil is properly contained and cleaned up. Often, the first step in the clean-up process is to place Oil Booms around the spill to help contain it into a specific area.
To view some of the oil skimmer offered, please visit our Oil Skimmer Page.