Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in Power Magazine.
Oil skimmers are very effective in removing oil from wastewater before discharge but are also perhaps the most efficient and economical approach.
Despite these advantages, oil skimmers are not found in every power plant. Some plants rely on less-efficient oil removal procedures, failing to recognize that even a single release could cost more money than upgrading a facility to modern oil-skimming equipment.
An oil skimmer (Figure 8) efficiently removes oil from water continuously and puts it into a collection tank, so it can then be recycled. Continuous removal also eliminates oil build-up, greatly reducing evaporation loss and the likelihood of oil escaping.
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8. Skimming oil. Oil in plant sumps and other wastewater containment areas can
be economically removed using an oil skimmer. In this design, a polymer hose passes
through the sump to collect oil that is continuously skimmed from the surface of the
hose and collected as illustrated. Courtesy: Oil Skimmers Inc.