FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LLOYD'S REGISTER LISTS SEA SWEEP; ABSORBENT RECOVERS
VENEZUELAN ORIMULSION DENVER, CO. -- Lloyd's
Register of Shipping, London, has designated Sea
Sweep, produced by Denver-based Sea Sweep, Inc. as
the first approved oil spill cleanup agent for use
on oil tankers insured by the giant underwriter.
Lloyd's said Sea Sweep is effective for
"absorbency of heavy, medium, light oil and
chemicals." Tests, including those sponsored by
the Insurer, found that Sea Sweep will absorb up to
seven times its weight in oil.
"The designation in the Lloyd's Register is
an important step in marketing Sea Sweep
internationally," William Mobeck, Sea Sweep
The announcement came as Sea Sweep officials were
meeting with Venezuelan officials on test results
that show Sea Sweep is effective in cleaning up
spills of Orimulsion oil produced in Venezuela's
The tar-like oil extracted in Orinoco cannot be
pumped or piped. When altered to produce the more
fluid Orlmulsion, it becomes a low cost alternative
for boiler oil. When spilled on salt water,
Orimulsion breaks up on the surface and some sinks
below. Tests show that, in spite of this, Sea Sweep
will absorb Orlmulsion in a reasonable period of
time when spread on the water surface.
Orimulsion is Imported by Canada, Japan, Denmark,
Germany, China, Italy, Lithuania and the United Kingdom but
environmental concerns recently led the State of
Florida to reject the use of Orimulsion by Florida
Power and Light.
"Because of its cost advantage and with Sea
Sweep as a safeguard for spills, a much larger
market now exists for Orimulsion worldwide,"
Sea Sweep is approved for use by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Administration and the
Coast Guard, the State of California, Greece, United
Kingdom, Chile and Malta.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DENVER, COLORADO, USA - A product developed by Sea
Sweep, Inc. of Denver, Colo., is the first to
demonstrate that it can effectively clean up
Venezuelan Orimulsion oil if it is spilled at sea or
in fresh water:
Other oil spill cleanup materials have not been
successful in recovering Orimulsion oil on water
because it quickly de-emulsifies when spilled and
about 60% to 70% sinks to various levels in the
water where other cleanup materials don't reach it.
Test results show that over a period of time, the
product, Sea Sweep, cleans as much as 100% of all
the oil spilled.
"The discovery of the effectiveness of Sea
Sweep in cleaning up Orimulsion oil makes it
possible to consider export of the oil to worldwide
markets safely without fear of a spill that can't be
recovered," said William Mobeck, Sea Sweep,
Orimulsion oil was developed by NTEVEP Company, a
state-operated research institute in Venezuela, in
order to convert Orinoco oil to a useful product. In
its natural semisolid state, Orinoco oil was
difficult lo use In normal applications.
Through additives, NTEVEP converted Orinoco to an
emulsion known as Orimulslon which is equivalent in
characteristics and use to Grade C heavy oil.
Bitunames Orinoco S.A. was created as a subsidiary
of PDVSA to market Orimulsion worldwide. Orimulslon
oil currently is being shipped to Japan, the United
Kingdom and other locations. The shipments were
somewhat at risk because, until now, no known clean
up material was effective in recovering an
accidental oil spill.
Testing of Sea Sweep was conducted by Dr. Siddhartha
Gaur, research assistant professor, Chemical
Engineering and Petroleum Refining Department,
Colorado School of Mines, one of the world's leading
schools in geology and natural resources.
Dr. Gaur placed Sea Sweep in a beaker of salt
water into which he had poured Orimulsion oil.
Within 30-45 minutes, Sea Sweep had absorbed all of
the surface oil, which was 31% to 37% of the oil put
into the beaker,
"The excess Sea Sweep over time absorbs
water and sinks slowly to various depths in the
water," Dr. Gaur said. "When I left the
mixture of salt water, Orimulsion and Sea Sweep
overnight, the Sea Sweep had absorbed what appeared
to be all of the oil beneath the surface as well as
Further tests showed that when Sea Sweeps came
into contact with the oil under the surface, the oil
at first adhered to the surface of the particles and
then actually displaced the water that had been
absorbed, lowering the specific gravity to the point
where the Sea Sweep floated again to the surface of
While actual measurements showed that in the
overnight process about 70% of the Orlmulsion by
weight had been absorbed by the Sea Sweep, Dr. Gaur
said Orimulsion contains water which remained in the
beaker. A characteristic of Orimulsion is that oil
below the surface within 24 hours floats back to the
surface where it will be absorbed by the remaining
floating Sea Sweep if it hasn't been absorbed by
"Based on the test results, I can suggest
that Sea Sweep is able to absorb Orimulsion if
enough time is provided for the process to take
place," Dr. Gaur reported.
Sea Sweep is created in a patented process of
treating wood chips so that the cellulose structure
remains active for oil absorption it is hydrophobic
(repels water) and oleophilic (attracts oil).
Applied on either water or land, Sea Sweep will
absorb four to five times its weight in oil
immediately upon contact. It is available loose, In booms, pillows
and other containers, biodegradable oil soaked Sea
Sweep can be incinerated or composted with other
waste products into a fertilizer or landfill soil.
Sea Sweep has been approved by the Thames Region
of the U.K., and by the Coast Guards of Greece,
Chile and the Department of the Environment in
Malta. The U.S. Coast Guard has placed Sea Sweep on
its Emergency Response Inventory and the
Environmental Protection Agency has approved it for
use on all navigable waterways.
In 1993, Sea Sweep was named as one of the top
100 new inventions in the U.S. by R&D Magazine
and it was awarded the Gold Medal at the Clean Seas
'93 International Conference in Malta.
Sea Sweep was developed by Mobeck and Dr. Thomas
Reed, a Colorado School of Mines professor,
following the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
"We currently are presenting the results of
Dr. Gaur's research to the Venezuelan government and
to the oil companies involved in production of Orlmulslon
in Venezuela," Mobeck said. "We also will
be contacting the transportation and end users of
"We believe that this development removes a
principal problem with Orimulslon and opens the
product for worldwide marketing..
Vast deposits of Orinoco oil were discovered in
1920. Because of its semi-solid state, no means was
available for developing a useful oil product until
the NTEVEP research in 1970. The NTEVEP process
provides a stable oil emulsion which can be
transported and used much like any other heavy
Power plants using Orimulsion oil will be less
costly to construct than coal-fired plants, and
Orimulsion will be competitive In fuel costs with
coal and other oil, as well as stable in price.
### Editors Note: The following represents the
results of Dr. Gaur's tests.
TESTING OF SEA SWEEP. IN SALT WATER WITH ORIMULSION OIL
Test# Water Wt. Oil Wt. SS Wt. Time(Min,) SS(Sat.)Wt. SS Wt.Gain %Oil Abs.
1 150.00 21.87 5.67 30 13.13 7.45 34.08
2 150.23 10.89 5.54 30 9.54 4.00 36.75
3 150 45 25.67 5.21 30 12.89 7.68 29.92
4 150.34 30.56 5 32 Overnight 26.67 21.35 69.87
5 150.23 30.65 5.32 45 14.78 9.46 30.87
All weight in grams.
SS = Sea Sweep