The Force7 Project
The sea around us is by no means as heavily polluted as it was in the first half of the 20th century, while response activities to contain and recover spilled oil have not changed dramatically over the past 25 years.
In line with current trends in offshore drilling, which are increasingly moving operations towards the arctic seas, FORCE7 project developed a new approach for oil spill recovery based on the use of advanced technical textiles with controlled oleophilic and hydrophobic properties and special multilayer design, capable of absorbing up to 2 times their own weight for each cycle, with oil recovery efficiency over 90%.
A downsized mop skimmer prototype has been operated and demonstrated in real conditions last February 2015 on the sea near Cardiff bay. A small fishing vessel hosted the equipment onboard, giving evidence of the optimal equipment integration flexibility.
Results of advanced numerical models developed in the project could be successfully verified during this trial, confirming dynamic behaviour prediction and enabling full correlation with the oil sorption characteristics of the advanced textile structure characterized in a confined tank.
It is estimated that proper prototype upscale activities could bring Force7 system to be ready for service in 1 – 1,5 years.
HightlightsForce7 full-scale demonstration: The Force7 prototype has been successfully tested and validated with a full-scale deployment operation on the sea offshore the Cardiff Bay, on February 26th 2015. The whole consortium participated to this demonstration session, where the mop has been released on water, dragged and retracted on board at different speeds up to 5 knots. Dynamic behavior, and in particular buoyancy and stability, has been verified according to the expectations. Follow the link on the homepage and watch the video on Youtube!
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