Oil booms are a very important requirement in case of oil spills at sea. With the help of oil booms, the extent of the oil spillage can be curtailed effectively. There are different varieties of oil booms that are available.
Each of these oil booms has been designed keeping in mind a specific purpose and the water area where they can be used to achieve the best oil spill curtailment results.
Some of the available varieties of oil booms can be explained in detail as follows:
Pollution Control Floating Dam
This type of oil boom can be used in harbours where hydrocarbon spillage tends to occur. It has polymers that soak up the spillage of hydrocarbons in the water and have a long life. The maximum capacity of the pollution control floating dam is over 300 gallons of fuel used in diesels
Single point Inflatable
This kind of oil boom is very effective because of the fast rate of its being deployed in the water. The single point inflatable can be spread over the affected oceanic area at a rate of 100 ft in a given minute. The materials used in the oil boom are high on tensile strength making the single point inflatable a much preferred oil boom. Also since it can be inflated at just one point rather than different points in the water area, the effectiveness of the oil boom increases even further
Sheltered Waters Floating Oil Boom
As the name suggests these oil booms help to control spillage in sheltered water parts and those areas where the water level is relatively shallow. There are two types of sheltered water floating oil boom:
- Rigid Floating Elements
Intertidal Floating Oil Boom
This kind of floating oil boom is mainly used in those water areas where the tide is generally high. This kind of floating oil boom makes use of the tide as a ballast to make sure that the oil spill does not go unrestricted. The tide action of hitting the shore back and forth ensures that this floating oil boom is working appropriately. Theoil boom has one end placed on the shore of the oceanic area while the oil boom extends across the water surface
Floating Oil Boom
This kind of oil boom is suitable for any kind of water surfaces i.e. water areas where the rate of tides and currents are high as well as those water areas where the water level is shallower. There are two kinds of floating oil booms:
- Rigid Floating Elements
As their name goes, these floating oil booms are placed on the water so that they can continuously absorb the oil and hydrocarbons that spill out. They are mainly used in beaches, docks and piers. Their main USP is that even if they are completely concentrated with the absorbed hydrocarbons, they continue to float in the water. This makes it easier for replacing these saturated absorbents with fresher ones
There are two other varieties of oil booms that are also used:
- Permanent floating oil boom for harbour
- Auto-inflatable oil boom
With the help of a marine technology like the oil booms, huge losses to the marine ecosystem and marine life-forms are prevented. In the days to come, it can be hoped that further developments to the oil boom technology will occur leading to a much better and improved prevention of the marine catastrophes.