Elastec/American Marine wins top prize at Warsaw event
Carmi, IL USA (October 12, 2012) - Elastec/American Marine continues to earn awards for its innovative grooved disc oil skimming technology.
Peter Cheney, who represents the Carmi, Ill.-based environmental products manufacturer in Europe from his base in Estonia, accepted the Nafta Gaz Grand Prix Award at Oil & Gas Warsaw 2012, an industry conference and exhibition held in September in Poland’s capital city. It was the top prize given at the exhibition--the first Oil & Gas Warsaw in which E/AM has participated.
The judges based their decision on the high standard and advanced nature of technical solutions, novelty of solutions, practical and aesthetic qualities, product quality and practical usefulness of the solutions, and the degree of progress of implementation.
E/AM’s grooved disc technology has repeatedly won international acclaim over the past year. The company captured one of two Excellence in Environmental Technology awards presented in February at the Offshore Arabia 2012 conference in Dubai. E/AM received a Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award at a gala awards ceremony in New York City Oct. 4. And last December, National Geographic ranked the technology second in its “Most Hopeful Energy Developments of 2011,” and The Washington Post cited it as the 13th best “Moment in Innovation” of the year.
Elastec/American Marine has been building smooth drum skimmers for more than a decade. Several years ago, working in conjunction with a graduate student at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, grooves were incorporated into the oleophilic (oil-attracting) surface of skimmer drums. The grooved drums doubled the oil recovery rate (ORR) of the smooth drum skimmers and have proven to be effective in waters from the Arctic to the tropics.
However, the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico made it clear that a critical need remained for more efficient skimming equipment. That prompted Wendy Schmidt, president of The Schmidt Family Foundation, to offer a $1 million prize (in a competition conducted by the X Prize Foundation) for the best technology that would recover at least 2,500 gallons of oil per minute at a 70 percent oil-to-water efficiency rate.
E/AM met the challenge, developing a 64-disc skimmer that posted an oil recovery rate of 4,670 gallons per minute with an oil recovery efficiency of 89.5 percent. That tripled the industry standards and enabled Elastec/American Marine to top 349 other contestants and take home the grand prize late last year.
Extensive testing has shown that the technology is scalable, and it is now being incorporated into an X SKIMMER line, with two models (the X150 and X250) expected to hit the market later this year.
The ten-disc X150 and the X250, which will feature 16 discs, embody the same operating principles that provided the record-breaking results in the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE: high-speed grooved discs, a high encounter rate, matching pump performance and high throughput efficiency. From deployment to decontamination of the mechanical skimming system, both units combine the ability to collect and recover oil at towing speeds well in excess of those employed by conventional systems.
The advancing grooved disc skimmers are just the latest addition to the Elastec/American Marine arsenal of equipment designed to combat oil spills. Those tools include disc, drum and weir skimmers, containment and fire boom, BoomVane products, vacuum equipment and dispersants.