Benefits of Lamor brush skimmers over other type of recovery devices

Vince Mitchell 31 July, 2020
Oleophilic brush skimmers for oil spill response in difference scenarios

Mechanical containment and recovery is the most commonly used oil spill response option. It generally requires no permissions or permits, can be used for all oil types,
 works in nearly all weather conditions and doesn’t add nor introduce anything to the environment.

When evaluating a recovery device such as a skimmer, there are several primary types that are available, including weir, vacuum, hydrodynamic, mechanical and oleophilic. Each of these skimmer types have different qualities, such as the amount of water recovered along with the oil, cost, size, ease of operation and recovery rate, just to name a few. While Lamor, as the world’s largest manufacturer of oil spill equipment, can supply all skimmer types for all operating environments, the oleophilic (oil attracting) brush skimmer has often proven to be the best solution.

Oleophilic brush skimmers have the highest recovery efficiency

An oleophilic skimmer works on the principle of an oil attracting material rotating through the oil – water interface. The oil primarily adheres to the oleophilic surface, while the water does not. This results in over 90% oil recovery efficiency. This is an important consideration as in most response actions recovered oil storage is limited. Two types of brush skimmers have been developed and manufactured by Lamor: the brush chain and the brush wheel. The polypropylene brush is an effective oleophilic material, presenting a very large surface area for the oil to adhere to within a small volume.

Continuous development created today´s brush skimmers

The brush chain was first developed by LORI, the precursor to Lamor, in the 1980s. These early models consisted of stiff brush segments attached to a chain that rotated upwards and lifted the oil from the water, allowing the water to drain off prior to the oil being scrapped off the brush segments. This was effective for the recovery of medium to heavy viscosity oils.

Lamor Brush Chain skimmer
*Lamor Brush Chain Skimmer

The brush wheel technology was developed at the same time. The brush wheels rotate downwards, into the oil-water interface. While also effective for medium to heavy viscosity oils, it was found that forcing the oil below the water surface and the subsequent resurfacing created higher recovery efficiencies for lighter oil viscosities.

Lamor Brush Wheel Skimmer
*Lamor Brush Wheel Skimmer

In 2005 development began on a single brush skimming system that could work effectively over a wider viscosity range.

The next year a double acting scraper was patented. This allowed the same brush chain skimmer to be rotated in both directions: upwards for heavier viscosity oils and downwards for lighter viscosity oils.

       Double acting scraper  Double acting scraper real

*Double Acting Scraper

This was a significant improvement and showed that a single brush chain skimmer could have a high recovery efficiency (over 90% oil in witnessed tests) over a wide viscosity range.

Continuous R&D, customer feedback, tank testing and operational experience ranging from the Prestige to Macondo responses have resulted in one of the most efficient and effective recovery devices on the market today.

Lamor provides the right tools for the right jobs

Lamor brush skimmers are available with wide-ranging recovery capacities ranging from 10 m3/hr to over 230 m3/hr and for use in protected waters to open ocean environments and from tropical to icy arctic conditions. Additional features that are available include hot water or steam heating of the brush scraper and sump, and water injection on the discharge pumps inlet and outlet sides. A few examples:

Rock cleaner

The Lamor rock cleaner is a small, lightweight hand-held brush skimmer with brush wheel technology designed for oil recovery along rocky coastlines or other inland areas. It is rated at 10 m3/hr recovery capacity.
Rock CleanerMinimax 25


The Lamor MiniMax 25 skimmer is a lightweight modular skimmer with brush wheel technology designed for operation in inland, nearshore and river environments with a certified recovery capacity of 26.8 m3/hr. The skimmer is constructed of molded polyethylene components, making it lightweight and easy to disassemble and clean.MiniMax 25

Multimax 50

The Lamor Multimax 50 is a free floating skimmer with brush chain technology that can be used effectively in stationary or mobile modes in rivers, harbours or nearshore environments. The duel rotation capability allows for the efficient recovery of oils from light to heavy viscosities with a certified recovery capacity of 51.2 m3/hr. This skimmer is ideal for use by vessels, and approximately 150 of these skimmers were fitted to local vessels and successfully used during the 2010 Macondo response in the Gulf of Mexico.
Multimax 50

Side Cassette Oil Recovery System


The Lamor side cassette oil recovery system is a vessel mounted advancing skimmer with brush chain technology primarily for nearshore and offshore recovery. Fitted with jib arms and sweep booms, these single vessel systems are the most maneuverable recovery systems. They can be provided in recovery capacities ranging from 82 m3/hr to 205 m3/hr. Over 600 of these systems have been delivered worldwide. Side Cassette Oil Recovery System

Brush skimmers, strength by versatility

Available in a wide range of recovery capacities and sizes, and suitable for uses in all environments and climates, the Lamor brush skimmers are an excellent choice. Please contact Lamor to discuss your oil spill response needs so that we may evaluate your requirements, plus provide assistance and guidance on the selection of a skimmer or any of the other Lamor products and services.Contact Us

Your Contact

Iryna Besarab


Vince Mitchell

Executive Vice President