|Publication number||US3643804 A|
|Publication date||Feb 22, 1972|
|Filing date||Sep 24, 1970|
|Priority date||Sep 24, 1970|
|Publication number||US 3643804 A, US 3643804A, US-A-3643804, US3643804 A, US3643804A|
|Inventors||Dallas E Sharpton|
|Original Assignee||Dallas E Sharpton|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (56), Classifications (8)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent Sharpton Feb. 22, 1972  WASTE OIL RECOVERY UNIT Dallas E. Sharpton, PO. Box 444, Dewey, Okla. 74029  Filed: Sept. 24, 1970  Appl.No.: 75,214
 U.S. CI. ..210/242, 210/526, 210/DlG.21
 Field of Search ..210/242, 83, S23, DIG. 21, 210/526  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,330,508 9/1943 McColl ..210/523 3,314,540 4/1967 Lane ..2lO/DlG. 21
Primary Examiner-Reuben Friedman Assistant Examiner-Theodore A. Granger Attorney-Head & Johnson  ABSTRACT An endless conveyor belt having an affinity for oil is mounted on the bow of a barge and projects downwardly and forwardly therefrom towards a water surface having oil floating thereon. Buoyancy means located at the lower end of the belt are adjustable such that the lower run of the belt can be selectively positioned slightly below the interface of the water and oil to assure maximum oil absorption with minimum water pickup.
2 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PAIENIEUFEB22 m2 SHEET 1 or 3 FIGQZ I/VI/E/VTORS. DALLAS E SHARPTON ATTORNEYS PATENTEUFEBZZ m2 SHEET 2 OF 3 M/VEIVITORS. DALLAS E. SHARPTON BY I Mf ATTORNEYS PATENTEUFEBZZ I972 SHEET 3 OF 3 v INVENTOR. DALLAS, E. SHARPTON WFMM ATTORNEYS WASTE OIL-RECOVERY UNIT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to an apparatus for removing oil from water. More particularly the invention relates to'an apparatus for removing a large expanse of oil floatingon top of open water.
The recent developments of the massive oil tanker'transporting vessels and offshore drilling platforms have drawn attention to the problem of collecting oil which has accidentally spilled into the sea and which floats on top of-the water surface onto beaches and the like, devastating'both life and property.
The idea of skimming the oil from the water by means of an endless belt system having an affinity for oil has been taught and used heretofore. Presently manufactured endless belt systems project rigidly forwardly from the bow of the vessel into the water. With the belt disposed in the water, the flow of the oil is disrupted and a quantity of water along with the oil is transported up the belt and into an oil storage reservoir provided within the craft. As the storage reservoir begins to fill and the craft settles into the water the belt, being rigidly mounted to the vessel, continues to be displaced deeper into the water thereby picking up additional quantities of water. Thus a large portion of the storage capacity of the reservoir is occupied by water rather than the desired oil, and the craft must return to port and the storage reservoir dumped frequently.
It is therefore an object of this invention-to present an apparatus which overcomes the aforementioned problems of presently manufactured endless belt oil skimming apparatus.
It is a further object of this invention to present an apparatus having adjustable buoyancy means on the lower end of the endless conveyor belt whereby the lower end thereof can be continuously positioned slightly below the interface of the oil and water to assure maximum absorption of oil with minimum pickup of water.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Generally the apparatus comprises a frame having two spaced-apart parallel elongatedmembers rotatably receiving at one end an upper drum and at the opposite end a lower drum with an endless belt wrapped therearound. The frame is pivotally mounted on the bow ofa barge. Buoyancy means are received on each elongated member at-the lower end thereof and are slidable along the longitudinal axis of the elongated member by crank means mounted on the craft such that the bottom of the lower drum can be positioned slightly below the interface of the water and oil.
DESCRIPTION OF TI-IE DRAWINGS DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Looking now at FIG. I, there is shown a large expanse of water 10, upon which a quantity of oil or other immiscible fluid I2 is floating. Projecting downwardly and forwardly from a floating barge 14 is the oil recovery apparatus 16 of this invention. A frame comprising two spaced-apart parallel elongated members 18A and 18B rotatably carries an endlessbelt 20. Elongated members 18A and 188 may be of any suitable construction and preferably are channels having the flange portions 19A and 19Bprojecting outwardly as can be seen in FIG. 5. Belt 20 may be made of any material having an afflnity for oil but not for water. A typical belt is shown in cross section in FIG. 4 and comprises an elongated neoprene core 22 encapsulated by synthetic rubber 24.
Turning now to the side view shown in FIG. 2, elongated frame member 18A is pivotally connected to a support strut 26 which projects vertically upwardly from a point on the bow of barge 14. Similarly frame member 188 is also attached to the barge. Rotatably supported by and between elongated members 18A and 18B is an upper drum 28; the axis of rotation thereof being transverse to the longitudinal axis of the elongated members. Rotatably supported by and between elongated-members 18A and 188 at the lower end thereofis a lower drum 30; the axis of rotation also being transverse the longitudinal axis of the elongated members. Belt 20 is wrapped around and between drums 28 and 30. Preferably the diameter of upper drum 28 is twice that of the lower drum 30 such that for every revolution of the upper drum the lower drum makes two revolutions.
Power rotating means 32 attached to the shaft of upper drum 30 effects travel of belt 20. A tension roller 34 is rotatably secured to and disposed between frame members 18A and 18B outside of the path of endless belt 20. An adjustable pitch roller 36 is rotatably secured to the elongated frame members 18A and 18B within the path of belt 20 via an arm 38. An inner support pan'40 intermediate the upper and lower drums provides a planar surface upon which the upper run of the belt rides.
Carried by floating barge 14 directly under upper drum 28 is an oil pickup reservoir or sump 42 which has an outlet coupled to a suction pump for transferring oil therefrom to the main storage which may in some cases constitute the craft itself. Suitable wiper blades or squeegees 44 pressing against the width of the belt 20 wipe the oil from the belt and allow same to flow into pickup reservoir 42.
Turning now to FIG. 6, a wiper bar 68 is disposed within the run of belt 20 at upper drum 28 and is suitably secured at opposite ends to elongated members 18A and 18B respectively, Dual wiper blades 72 carried by wiper bar 68 through adjustable arms 74 press against the inside of belt 20 and are outwardly inclined from a vertex in order to wipe any liquid which tends to accumulate on the inside of belt 20 into the sump.
Turning now to FIGS. 3 and 5, there is shown in cross section the lower end of frame member 18A. It is to be understood that frame member 18B is similar and any features hereinafter discussed in regards to member 18A apply equally to member 18B.
Lower drum 30 with belt 20 wrapped therearound includes a hub 31 which is rotatably secured to the web of frame member 18A adjacent the lower end thereof.
Along the length of the lower portion offrame member 18A there is welded to the outer peripheral edges of both upper and lower flanges 19A and 198 a roller guide strip 46 perpendicular to the flanges to form in conjunction with frame member 18A a float roller raceway 48 along the longitudinal axis of the frame member.
Received and retained in raceway 48 are two spaced-apart float roller wheels 50 and 52 rotatably carried about the hubs thereof by a carrying plate 54.
Carrying plate 54 includes a perpendicular shaft 55 on which ispivotally joined a float bracket 58. A nut 56 retains bracket 58 on the shaft. Float bracket 58 extends pivotally downwardly from carrying plate 54 and supports on theglower end thereof a pontoon 60 which floats in the water.
Looking now at the upward end of carrying plate 54, the lower end of a fast threaded lead screw 62 is rotatably received in an aperture 63 and held therein by washers and a pin 67. Lead screw 62 extends upwardly parallel with the axis of frame member 18A and is threadedly captured by an adjusting nut 64 rigidly fastened to the frame member 18A in an appropriate manner. The uppermost end of lead screw 62 has received thereon a universal joint 66 which is interconnected to a crank handle conveniently mounted on barge 14.
The utilization of lead screw 62 and adjusting nut 64 is only one of many ways of operably controlling the movement of carriage plate 54. Obviously the same result could be obtained by hydraulic means.
Returning now to FIG. 1, adjustable counterbalanceweights 70 are slidably received on the upper ends of frame members 18A and 188 to cushion the rocking of pontoons 60.
In operation the barge with the oil recovery apparatus of this invention attached thereto is transported to a point adjacent an oil slick. Pontoons 60 are then moved relative to frame members 18A and 188 by manipulation of the crank handle until the lower run of belt 20 at the underside of drum 30 is slightly below the interface of the oil and water.
The belt 20 is then rotated in a counterclockwise direction to convey oil upwardly to upper drum 28 where wiper blade 44 squeezes the oil from the belt into sump 42 from whence the oil is conducted to the main reservoir within the craft. As before mentioned, the location of the lower part of the belt and the drum at the interface of the oil and water assures the maximum attraction of the oil to the belt while a minimum of water is conveyed upwardly onto the belt. As the reservoir in the craft begins to fill and the craft settles in the water, the crank is further manipulated to readjust the lower run of belt at drum 30 so that it remains slightly below the interface of the oil and the water.
Thus at all times during the operation the lower drum is conveniently and easily positioned at the interface of the water and oil by an operator on the craft.
In some applications oil recovery apparatus 16 may be conveyed through the oil slick by the barges power plant. In other applications the apparatus may remain stationary and the flow ofthe water may be utilized to carry the oil to the belt.
The dimensions of the components of the apparatus are determined by the particular requirements of each application. Under some circumstances, it may be feasible to mount the apparatus to a stationary support on shore rather than on a barge.
During the detailed description of the preferred embodiment specific language has been used for the sake of clarity. However, it is to be understood that such language includes all equivalents which operate in a similar manner to accomplish a similar purpose. For example, although the apparatus has been discussed with reference to large oil slicks floating on open water, the apparatus would work equally well in industri all applications such as skimming oil or other impurities from water in such equipment as industrial washers.
Also optional diverting wipers 46 may be attached to the corners of the support pan and angled upwardly for the purpose of directing oil away from the edge of belt 20 into the center thereof.
Additionally in some applications, the device may be pivotally mounted on the shore and project therefrom into the ocean. In these applications it is desirable to have individual adjusting cranks for each pontoon such that any inclination of the shore relative to the sea can be compensated for thereby keeping the lower drum horizontal with the water.
What is claimed:
1. An apparatus for removing oil floating on water comprismg:
a frame having two spaced-apart substantially parallel elongated members;
supporting means for pivotally securing said frame to the bow of a floating vessel such that said frame projects forwardly and downwardly therefrom toward said water;
an upper drum rotatably supported by and between said elongated members ofsaid frame;
a lower drum rotatably supported by and between said elongated members at the lower end thereof;
an endless belt wrapped around and extending between said drums, said belt having an affinity for oil; buoyancy means pivotal y coupled to the lower end of each said elongated member;
means for sliding said buoyancy means relative to the longitudinal axis of said elongated member whereby the bottom of the lower run of said endless belt at the underside of said lower drum can be positioned slightly below the interface of said oil and water;
power means for driving said endless belt whereby said belt picks up oil at the lower drum and conveys same to said upper drum;
an oil reservoir disposed adjacent and under said upper drum; and
wiper blades pivotally carried adjacent said upper drum for wiping said oil from said belt and allowing said oil to flow into said reservoir.
2. An apparatus as in claim 1 wherein the lower end of said elongated members contains a longitudinal raceway and wherein said means for slidably moving said buoyancy means relative to said elongated member comprises;
at least one float roller slidably disposed in said raceway; said buoyancy means being interconnected to the said roller;
a lead screw rotatably interconnected to said roller and projecting therefrom parallel to the axis of said member;
a lead screwnut rigidly secured to said elongated member and threadedly engaging said lead screw whereby rotation of said lead screw through said nut causes longitudinal movement of said buoyancy means to adjust the position of the bottom of said lower drum relative to interface of said oil and water; and
means to rotate said lead screw.
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|U.S. Classification||210/242.4, 210/923, 210/526|
|International Classification||E02B15/10, E02B15/04|
|Cooperative Classification||E02B15/104, Y10S210/923|