This Oil Skimmers, Inc. customer has been a producer of highly refined mineral oils for more than a century. The company’s white oil products, which are used in the formulation of lotions, creams, ointments and hand cleansers, require large amounts of water to make. The oily water from the refining process, along with tank washdowns and runoff, adds up to a substantial wastewater challenge. In an effort to improve its wastewater treatment process and increase overall plant efficiency, the company compared different oil skimmers.
Five pairs of API oil/water separators, or “pits,” are located throughout the plant site, each originally equipped with slotted pipes for oil removal. When the company installed an Oil Skimmers, Inc. Model 6V skimmer, the effectiveness and efficiency of oil removal was immediately obvious. The 6V’s free-floating collector tube was unimpeded by any surface debris, such as leaves and twigs, and it quickly picked up only the oil, leaving the water in the pit.
The plant’s project manager recalls, “The team from Oil Skimmers, Inc. set up the Model 6V demo unit on a Friday afternoon. They turned it on and it skimmed overnight night. When I came back Saturday morning, the pit was completely free of any oil.”
The results made for an easy decision. The company bought and installed five Oil Skimmers, Inc. Model 6V units, one for each pair of API pits. The Model 6V offered a number of advantages over the existing weir pipes and other skimmers they considered. The 6V’s variable speed option turned out to be just what was needed to keep pace with the plant’s varying water flow rates and oil viscosities. Variable speed capability also translated into less babysitting and less maintenance in a “lean” operation, plus higher performance. The Model 6V’s durable design and construction made it well suited for the plant’s outdoors application.
More Oil, Less Water – Results that Pay
On the water treatment side, the plant’s increased oil removal efficiency means less stress on the water filtration system. This factor will save maintenance costs and repair headaches for years to come. In addition to improved plant efficiency, the company’s Model 6V investment already is paying for itself in recyclable oil sales. The continuous tube skimming yields more oil than was possible with the weirs, which removed a lot of water along with the oil. Reclaimed oil customers now drive away with higher-grade product that requires less processing and lowered costs at their end.
The Model 6V has proved its worth, where oil removal now is a highly efficient, automated operation that did not incur significant downtime or expensive retrofitting costs. This kind of far-reaching impact is possible for any refinery with oil removal challenges.