A small American company based in Indianapolis, Indiana could receive an order of a lifetime. Their technology relies on no large moving parts and no chemicals and unfortunately is stuck in a no man’s land between South Carolina and Georgia.
Last year, when South Carolina initially approved a plan to deepen Savannah’s port, the agreement relied on using this technology to offset the loss of oxygen in the river when it is dredged. Instead of a traditional dissolved oxygen bubbler diffuser system which allows oxygen bubbles to leisurely interact with water, this technology forces oxygen to be extroverted and dissolve into water.
How does it work? Dr. Speece invented this technology early in the 1970s. An inverted enclosed funnel—appropriately named a Speece cone—is where the action is contained. Water is pumped into the top of the cone and then pure oxygen is added. This creates an insanely intense oxygen bubble swarm, through which all the water has to pass. The super oxygenated water is reintroduced into the river, where it mixes with and is diluted by the main flow.
Dr. Speece created the ultimate oxygen water party mixer. The bubbles cannot escape at the top of the cone due to the high water velocity. They cannot escape from the bottom due to the low water velocity.
|Application Test in Savannah in 2007|
I have seen some quotes that it will cost an estimated $1.2 million annually to run this system in the Savannah. Last month I discussed the ambitious project to create the world’s largest urban whitewater riverand I related it to the Bionic Man. Well, this river application would make Steve Austin even prouder.
It looks like there is an agreement in place between Georgia and South Carolina now to settle their lawsuit which will allow this project to proceed. One new requirement related to the speece cone is that Georgia Ports Authority must keep $2 million in escrow or a letter of credit annually for 50 years to ensure operation and maintenance of this oxygen system if the Corps doesn’t pay for it. Read more here.