OIL-XORB ERC has been shown to be extremely in cleaning marine bilge water to remove oily contaminants prior to its discharge at sea. Most on-board bilge cleaning systems use skimmers or sometimes mechanical separators to remove gross oil contamination from the top of the bilge fluids. The remaining fluid, which is still contaminated with oil, is then passed through oil/water separating filters that easily become clogged with the viscous oil/water emulsion. Use of OIL-XORB ERC can convert what is usually a multi-step (and inefficient) system into a one-step process that does not require any of the conventional means of emulsion-breaking (e.g., acid-washing). OIL-XORB ERC promotes almost 100% separation of oil and water in the bilge with the result that simple skimmers can remove essentially all of the bilge oil. The residual cleaned bilge water can them be safely discharged at sea without fear of any threat to marine life. OIL-XORB ERC is fully and quickly degradable even in cold marine waters.
A 1:10 mixture of OIL-XORB ERC and water may be added directly to the bilge or, preferably, can be used to clean oily surfaces (such as those in the engine room and fuel bunker areas) from which locations the wash solution (including the oil stripped from the cleaned surfaces) will find its way into the bilge. The natural motion of the ship when underway typically provides sufficient circulation and mixing. The skimmers (and, if desired, the oil/water separators) can be operated without fear of operating difficulty.
As described above, a simple skimming system is all that is required to recover oil from the bilges. The recovered oil may be used 'as-is' as it often is today (it is typically pumped back into the fuel bunkers); however with OIL-XORB ERC use there will be more of it. Current separation costs will generally be reduced because filter maintenance will be greatly reduced and chemical emulsion breakers (with their associated maintenance and environmental requirements) will no longer be required.
No directly competing products are known. Current practice involves the use of oil/water separators and/or emulsion-breaking chemicals.