An oil cleansing method developed by Russian researchers at Tomsk State University could reduce the amount of oil content in water by as much as 40 times. The research was recently published in Water Practice & Technology.
The technology is based on a flotation method, said Danil Vorobiev, one of the authors and doctor of biological sciences. In place of oil accumulation, a pneumatic and mechanical action leads to the oil rising to the surface. The technology, developed by TSU, is best suited for lakes with thick sediments and a stony, clay or sandy bottom. This method allows cleaning both sediments and water. It also does not require the use of chemicals and can be used in winter when the vegetative processes in a lake freezes and interference with the underwater world is minimal.
In the spring and summer fish and aquatic organisms actively reproduce, therefore it is better to conduct any cleaning work during the cold time of the year. In cold weather, a perforated hose is lowered down to the bottom in order to direct the pressurized stream of air to accumulations of oil. As a result, oil rises to the surface and goes, via the guide channels laid on the surface, to an oil collector.
A mobile hangar is installed above the oil collector where heat guns create a favorable temperature for pumping oil. This allows for working on cleaning water from oil in any weather, even at -50°C.