Dispersion of spilled oil by a cavitating jet at sea

Research paper by Hiroharu Kato, Yuichi Oe, Makoto Honoki, Tetsuji Mochiki, Taichi Fukazawa

Indexed on: 01 Jun '06Published on: 01 Jun '06Published in: Journal of Marine Science and Technology


This article presents the possibility of using a high-speed water jet for the dispersion of spilled oil at sea. Laboratory experiments showed that a high-speed water jet is very effective in dispersing heavy oil. Two methods were examined and compared using freshwater. The first method was to disperse an oil layer on the water surface using a cavitating jet ejected upward at an angle of 45°. A target plate was placed at the interface of the water and oil layer to enhance the collapse of cavitating bubbles. The second method was to eject a high-speed water jet vertically downward from the air. A guide plate with a guide hole was placed under the oil layer with no target plate as such. The second method showed an improved dispersion ability and thus its effectiveness was examined using an oil layer on seawater. The dispersion of oil was better in seawater than in freshwater, probably because seawater contains natural surfactants.