Oil into Waterways

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by fredrosse, May 15, 2015.

  1. fredrosse
    Joined: Jan 2005
    Posts: 436
    Likes: 80, Points: 38, Legacy Rep: 56
    Location: Philadelphia PA

    fredrosse USACE Steam

    Oil into lakes and rivers is an event we all need to be mindful of. Bilge water will often have some oil, and the Oil-Sorb Pads are effective here, provided they are not too overloaded with waste oil.

    Does anyone know of environmentally acceptable oils that are biodegradable and that could be discharged into the water? I would think things like Tallow, or various vegetable oils, castor oil, palm oil, etc. would be OK, but I do not know the rules here.

    It would be good to know of some oils that would not bring environmental problems. Please let us know about this IF you have solid data. Telling the authorities that "I think this oil discharge is OK, Joe from the forum said he thought it was acceptable because he heard about it from a friend...." would not be the kind of information needed here.

    Another point: Two Stroke Outboard Mix Oil. I know that stuff is petroleum oil mix, is discharged into the water, and there are millions of 2-stroke outboards in service. Yes, they will eventually be outlawed, but they spew many tons of oil directly into our waterways. For example, a 100 HP outboard will put 1 to 2 pounds of OIL into the exhaust every hour at full throttle. There are thousands of these boats running on the water as I write this. What are the regulations regarding these types of discharge?
  2. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
    Posts: 3,900
    Likes: 199, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 971
    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    Whale oil probably wouldn't hurt the environment.

    You don't say what it's for, I assume it's for your steam engine. You might try looking into lanolin based oils.


  3. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 16,416
    Likes: 1,457, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Petroleum is 100% biodegradable. It is an organic hydrocarbon.
  4. Trent hink
    Joined: Sep 2013
    Posts: 26
    Likes: 2, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 27
    Location: Sarasota fl

    Trent hink Junior Member

    Ha ha, tell that to people living on the northern Gulf of Mexico.
  5. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 16,416
    Likes: 1,457, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Spill millions of gallons of biodiesel and it will be the same. Takes some critical thinking to separate the political hype and pseudoscience from the facts.
  6. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
    Posts: 1,270
    Likes: 27, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 271
    Location: Hampshire UK

    SukiSolo Senior Member

    There are some cleaner/degreasers that are biodegradable, so help the breakdown of light oil contamination. As someone who sails (some of the time) in a very conservation tightly legislated area, at least one of these (cleaners) has been inspected by one of the main bodies involved in keeping things clean in the environment. They seemed satisfied with the product, I'll try and dig it out, for you Fred.

    Having observed it in use, I'd say it prevents the film you normally see on the surface by breaking it down into smaller, more degradable particles.

    I note on a brief search that one Kiwi company claims an effective product for this type of use, based on Eucalyptus oil. Maybe one of the Kiwi contingent might add a voice?

    If we had a problem it would show, as water quality is frequently checked ie monthly and bottom samples taken bimonthly. A good example would be that sewage effluent was higher in spring than any other time . It was eventually traced to a leaking pipe to a septic tank. Note that it was only a very small leak and not hazardous to human or wildlife, just an unwanted discharge in the environment. Never had any detection of petroleum products or byproducts, and I am sure we would be informed pronto.

    I can remember various spills (in UK) over the years, from the Torrey Canyon to 700 gallons of red diesel in a canal in Leicester (where I lived at the time)..... you could smell that, some way off! However it was more the clogging effect of the mass of it in the reeds etc that did damage to wildlife. Fortunately a fair bit of it was pumped out, but it hung around for at least a month.
  7. Rurudyne
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 1,170
    Likes: 40, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 155
    Location: North Texas

    Rurudyne Senior Member

    ^ this

    Diesels also run very well on used grease, once strained of course. Quieter and with less vibration too because grease has a decent lubricating advantage. While grease is certainly biodegradable they'll pitch a fit if you dump some alongside some road somewhere.
  8. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
    Posts: 2,591
    Likes: 361, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 1082
    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member


    was this it?

    (seriously, every boat in the Florida Keys has a bottle of Joy on it.)
  9. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 16,416
    Likes: 1,457, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Detergents are a cosmetic solution. They cause a lot of problems, including algae bloom. The oil slick turns into sludge and a suspension. Hydrocarbons in petroleum are all "bio. Ancient animals and plants got buried for a long time. Most claims on biofuels are not based on facts or science. The green movement is based on emotional and political goals.
  10. Rurudyne
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 1,170
    Likes: 40, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 155
    Location: North Texas

    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Heh ... California has problems with constant oil seeps that could be prevented ... if they would drill.

    Though I will say this in favor of biofuels or even recovered grease: they may not have as much of the odd chemicals, like sulphur, to deal with. As much as is, of course, not none. In the case of diesels I seem to recall there being issues with, when using a cogeneration system to recover heat from exhaust, letting the gasses get too cool that may lead to corrosion issues. Whatever reduces the presence of these gasses that cause the issues should in theory allow more heat to be recovered without corrosion problems.

    Personally, I also wonder that we don't (at least to my knowledge) make biodiesel additives from pig fat ... the stuff stores tremendous amounts of energy and burns accordingly.
  11. latestarter
    Joined: Jul 2010
    Posts: 395
    Likes: 50, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 233
    Location: N.W. England

    latestarter Senior Member

    Human excrement is 100% biodegradable but I would not wish to swim in it.

    I would be surprised if the fish, birds and other animals relying on the the water welcome it being polluted on the basis that it will eventually biodegrade.
  12. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 10,401
    Likes: 1,036, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 702
    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Is that a fact ? What data is available on what percentage isn't burnt, the blue smoke doesn't come from the petrol.
  13. Pericles
    Joined: Sep 2006
    Posts: 2,013
    Likes: 139, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1307
    Location: Heights of High Wycombe, not far from River Thames

    Pericles Senior Member

    Ahh, the good old days. Evinrudes ran on special racing fuel: 82% methanol, 10% toluene or benzol, and 8% castor oil (which was available in 5 US gal (19 l; 4.2 imp gal) cans from drug stores), plus tetraethyllead (also available in drug stores) to avoid engine knock. They would rev close to 8,000 rpm and could produce 80 hp (60 kW), close to 1 horsepower per pound (1.7 kW/kg) of engine weight.



    75 years later, the Evinrude E-TEC O/Bs out perform 4 strokes in economy & emmissions.


    I'd love a G2. :D

    Joined: Oct 2002
    Posts: 4,519
    Likes: 111, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1009
    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    "Hydrocarbons in petroleum are all "bio. Ancient animals and plants got buried for a long time. "

    That is no longer the only accepted theory on where petroleum comes from.

    The Russians have a different theory,

    Scientists Prove Abiotic Oil Is Real! - Viewzone

    Viewzone Magazine offers a look at life and humanity from different angles. Fossils From Animals And Plants Are Not Necessary For Crude Oil And Natural Gas.
    Discovery backs theory oil not 'fossil fuel' -

    Feb 1, 2008 - A study published in Science Magazine today presents new evidence supporting the abiotic theory for the origin of oil, which asserts oil is a ...

  15. Rastapop
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 278
    Likes: 5, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 46
    Location: Australia

    Rastapop Naval Architect

    Lakes and rivers I don't know, but MARPOL now considers vegetable oil a noxious substance (Annex II) that must be carried in bulk by chemical tankers, and edible oils from garbage appear to be treated even more strictly than fuel oil: dumping them overboard is completely prohibited at all times in any concentration (Annex V).
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.