THE ELECTROMAGNETIC BOOM
The Electromagnetic Boom and Ramp is an innovative, electromagnetic-based approach for oil spill remediation. It manipulates the oil that has been rendered magnetic by seeding. The system then moves, guides and separates the oil from the water, and then separates the oil from the particles for reuse.
The oil collection process begins by seeding spilled oil with environmentally benign, micron-sized magnetite (Fe3O4) particles, creating a colloidal mixture. The process is dominated by a weak molecular force which also allows for the magnetic separation of the particles after the oil and particles are removed from water and other surfaces. The nature of the bond is sufficient to target oil specifically at the micron scale and to only use the water as a transport medium.
A major component of the system is The Electromagnetic Booms. The booms are made up of thin solenoid magnets that are linked together to reach out into the oily water. After the spilled oil is seeded with magnetite, the electromagnetic booms are pulsed in a phased sequence with a time dependent current. The current, gradually grows stronger axially and is distributed along the boom. This creates a magnetic field gradient that directs the magnetized oil to where it can be collected. The magnetically active booms are very efficient at collecting oil while not collecting any water in the process.
The last solenoid in a module is coupled to an Electromagnetic Ramp system. The angle of the ramp and the rotational speed of it's magnets and conveyor are controlled to reject water, move oil from water and separate the mixture. It also has additional stand alone applications.