The innovative approach brought by FORCE7 is based on the use of advanced technical textiles with controlled oleophilic and hydrophobic properties and special multilayer design.
Advanced textile structures are woven in order to create strong interconnected mops that can be deployed aside or astern of a single tugboat, and dragged through an oil slick. Once they are saturated, the mops are squeezed by rollers to collect the oil absorbed, and then redeployed for another cleaning cycle by a single small-medium sized tugboat, fostering response preparedness optimization while reducing overall capital costs. The oil collected can be stored in a flexible tank offboard. Also, the same mop structure and equipment can be modified and deployed vertically on a small confined spill, as for example in the case of a polluted spot surrounded by solid ice or in industrial closed basins, following a more traditional drum- or disk-skimmer approach.
Traditional systems, in comparison, are characterised by lower performance in terms of oil recovery and cannot be used in harsh sea conditions, which are typically encountered in case of ship wreckage and often characterize the cold seas.