Thank you for sharing for sharing in your blog entry titled "High Capacity Solution to oil spills", Professor Johnson.
I am intrigued by how the centrifuge would be able to handle the thick and viscous oil slick, which will likely clog up the separator system. I'm very grateful to open this for discussion so that young and eager engineers, like myself, may gain some insights.
In my humble opinion, a coarse filter ought to be placed at the receiver/sea chest to block out the sticky oil slick from entering the system. Perhaps a suitable, easily replaceable material for the coarse filter could be hemp, or something fibrous. Next, the thick oil that escape the coarse filter could be heat-treated along the piping to reduce its viscosity. Thus, after the heating stage, the oily water should be in the right condition to be separated by the centrifuge.
I look forward to seeing the authorities hastening their efforts in cleaning up the oil spill. Many fishermen's livelihoods may be in jeopardy if the clean-up efforts are prolonged.