Oil Spill Clean-Up System Using Hot Water

D. Couillard
F. T. Tran

DOI: 10.2190/FLJR-5NMN-G73N-RF11


The process of hot water extraction of tar sand was modified and adapted for removal of heavy oil from bottom tank petroleum sludges, and was submitted to a laboratory feasibility study. This process can also be utilized to clean beach sands contaminated by accidental heavy oil spills. The process mainly consists of a hot-water extraction (digestion), extruding the oil particles from their support of sand or clay. In the case of oil contaminated sands, a single stage extraction yielded a total recovery of hydrocarbons of 99 percent and a clean sand (hardly containing 0.1% of hydrocarbons), thus safe to be returned to the environment. In the case of heavy oil from bottom tank petroleum sludges, it was necessary to proceed with a double stage extraction with the addition of wetting agents: the utilization of Na2 SiO3 aqueous solution of 1 percent in weight was proven efficient, allowing a 82 percent recovery of hydrocarbons, with only 0.5 percent hydrocarbons in the solid residues.

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