Oil skimmers are simple, dependable and effective tools for removing oil, grease and other hydrocarbons from water and coolants. Often, an oil skimmer by itself can achieve the desired level of water purity.
In more demanding situations, oil skimming is a cost-effective means of removing most of the oil before using more complicated and costly treatments such as coalescers, membrane filters and chemical processes.
As with any piece of industrial equipment, there are guidelines that should be followed to promote optimal efficiency, as well as a long, trouble free operational life. Let’s take a look at a few tips that will help you get the most out your oil skimmer.
A skimmer is most effective when there is no turbulence in the media
Skimmers rely on the differences in specific gravities between oil and coolant or water that causes oil to float on top of water. In applications where turbulence is present, the process of oil rising to the top will be prolonged, with some oil remaining below the water until conditions allow gravity to ultimately prevail. Operating the skimmer predominantly during quiet times will give oil the chance to rise to surface and allow the unit to operate more effectively.
Keep a spare belt and wiper blades on hand
Being prepared for the unexpected is always good practice. While blades and belt are typically very durable and trouble free, you never want to be in a situation where the skimmer must be taken out of service until a new belt or wiper blades arrive from halfway across the country.
Choose a belt that is long enough so that the tail pulley is submerged when the liquid level is at its lowest point
Water and coolant levels can vary over time. Therefore, the skimmer needs to be capable of collecting oil when the levels are at their lowest. Taking the time to correctly size the belt prior to purchasing the unit will save a lot of headaches down the road.
Properly size the skimmer to the size of tank
Skimmers operate by breaking surface tension which allows oil to be attracted to the belt. If a unit is undersized, it will not have the strength to disrupt the surface tension of the liquid, meaning that oil will never make it to the belt. Sizing of the unit should always be based on the overall area of the tank, not the volume of oil that is expected in the tank. This will guarantee that the skimmer will be capable of overcoming the surface tension that is present for the given tank area.
To learn more about oil skimmers, please contact our experts at 440-543-7400 or visit our website: www.abanaki.com
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