Oil/water separation particulars.

The separation of oil from water or aqueous fluids is one of the most common problems throughout the industry.

Many devices, systems and solutions have been developed over many years, some with success, most with little to no results. Many physical principles have been put to use, like adhesion, gravity separation, absorbance, membrane filtration, but also chemical and biological technologies.

The Suparator® technology concerns a physical separation technique, but one that is often just as effective, sometimes even more effective, than chemical or chemical/physical separation.

Characteristics of the problem

Distinctive for oil/water mixtures is that we have two immiscible fluids which, given time, will separate spontaneously.

A mixture that is not (completely) separated yet is called an emulsion. Oil is not dissolved in the water phase but is dispersed throughout the water phase as very fine droplets. The individual droplets are not visible with the naked eye, but the oil causes the water to be turbid. The more oil, the more turbid the water will be, from a very light haze to a milky, translucent, liquid. Depending on the color of the oil, the mixture will get a yellowish to brown coloring as well. Read more about it here .....

Free floating oil

It seems simple to remove a layer of oil from water, but it is not. Compare it with removing the floating grease bubbles from your soup with a spoon. No matter how hard you try, you will always get more soup than grease.

That is why many oil separation devices, as a compromise, settle for removing only the surplus of oil, leaving a more or less thick oil layer behind in the separator all the time. This is a very common situation in oil/water separators everywhere. Read more about it here .....

The thin film approach

Thin film refers to the removal of even very thin layers of oil. Any device, capable of removing even a thin film of oil, without removing water, will thereby remove all the dirt in the oil, and inhibit the build up of floating layers with the unavoidable interface layers.

Thin film oil removal has proven to bring unexpected improvements in the overall separation of oil from aqueous media. More than anywhere else, the principle of thin film removal proves itself when applied to valuable production fluids like aqueous cleaners and machine coolant. Read more about it here .....