Following successful testing at Ohmsett last year, Balaena, LLC is bringing to market revolutionary new technology for oil spill and surface contaminant recovery. The vessel has demonstrated high performance potential during both stationary and advancing collection, achieving a 98%+ oil (<2% water) discharge ratio, and requiring no consumables (e.g., pads, discs, belts, or brushes). Optimizations have been incorporated to simplify operations based on lessons learned from testing, and key interfaces are in place to facilitate remote control, currently in work with Fluid Power Design, LLC, and Sea Machines.
With patents issued and pending in Australia, Canada, and the USA, and patents pending in Norway, the UK and Singapore, the company is now in the pre-engineering phase of a vessel sized for road transportation without a permit and to fit in a C-130 cargo aircraft. Also in development is a larger vessel designed specifically for at-risk ports and harbors, but also deployable in bays and offshore in low sea states.
Balaena has scheduled a series of field trials and exercises with MSRC (Marine Spill Response Corporation) at MSRC’s facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana during the first quarter of 2022. Working together, MSRC and Balaena aim to demonstrate the vessel in operational conditions in the coming months.
The National Spill Control School, a Division of Research and Innovation at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, has approached Balaena for potential research activities for both coastal and inland environments. The National Spill Control School research will build upon test events conducted at the Ohmsett facility in 2021 and additional testing scheduled for May of 2022.
Balaena is committed to validating its technology in a broad range of conditions including open waters, wetlands (and similar), flowing waters, and ice. In addition to recovery of oil and other surface contaminants, the company is developing minor modifications to the vessel to facilitate recovery of floating vegetation, toxic algae, and plastics (including nurdles) using the same patented approach.