ABANAKI OIL
Aerodyne

Oil Skimmer Blog

Tom Hobson

Recent Posts

The Scoop on Oil Skimmers: Select by Application | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Jun 29, 2020 9:30:00 AM

There are several types of industrial oil skimmers. Choosing one best suited for your application will maximize oil removal while minimizing capital outlay and skimmer operating costs. You may define the application in terms of the following characteristics:

Operating Conditions

The performance and life of the pick-up medium, wiper blades, pulleys, etc. are affected by operating conditions. These include temperatures in and out of the liquid, the pH of the solution and the presence of solvents or other reactive chemicals.

Hazardous Materials

Applications involving flammable materials or explosive vapors require the use of explosion-proof (or air-driven) motors and controls.

Temperature/Viscosity

All skimmers require floating oil to be in a liquid, free-flowing state. (See Note 2 under Table 1 for an exception.) If the oil congeals or solidifies at ambient temperatures, the reservoir and/or skimmer will require heaters to maintain fluid flow.

Removal Rate

Skimmer removal rates, expressed in gph, vary with oil viscosity. Typically, manufacturers rate skimmers using SAE 30 weight motor oil at 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius). It's wise to ask for test data, especially if your application involves a much different viscosity. Your skimmer selection should be based on the maximum amount of oil to be removed within the shortest available time. For instance, suppose total oil influx is 200 gallons a day. The calculated average would be 200/24 = 8.3 gph. However, if most of it comes during a single 8-hour plant shift, you probably need a removal rate three times that average, especially if you need to prevent the discharge of contaminated water to a sewer system. As a rule of thumb, specify approximately twice the maximum capacity you anticipate needing for normal conditions.

Skimmed Water Content

All oil skimmers pick up some water with the oil. Suction skimmers pick up more water than other types. High water content increases oil recycling and disposal costs. Generally, the ratio of water to oil decreases with thicker films of floating oil and slower moving pick-up media. A concentrator or decanter installed at the skimmer discharge port provides secondary oil/water separation that can reduce water content to nearly zero.

Residual Oil

A skimmer removes oil as long as it is present. Depending on oil influx rate and the skimmer's removal rate, residual oil in the water may be as low as a few parts per million. When further reduction is required, a secondary removal stage such as membrane filtration may be needed.

Portability

In some plants mobile equipment service shops and at remediation sites, a portable skimmer can sometimes service multiple machines, sumps or wells.

Tank or Sump Characteristics

The location, shape and capacity of a tank or water impoundment are major factors in choosing the right skimmer. Also consider fluctuations in water level, turbulence and possible emulsions. Although skimmers do not cause emulsions, they may have trouble removing certain types.

Size/Design

Oil and water can emulsify when subjected to turbulence and other mechanical agitation. Avoid this by having water return to the tank below the liquid surface at as low a velocity as practical. Make sure the tank or sump provides quiet areas, weirs and sufficient volume to allow adequate time for oil/water separation.

Shape

Tanks without nooks and crannies for oil to accumulate in are best. If you have an irregular shape, put the skimmer where the largest amount of oil accumulates. Consider a means of directing oil toward the skimmer such as a floating boom or baffle plate.

Location/Installation

Questions to ask about the physical location and characteristics of the tank and collection container: Does skimmed material need to be pumped from the skimmer to the container? Will skimmer access for periodic maintenance be a problem? How much mounting space is available? Are tank or container modifications required? (Total skimmer system costs may involve additional components, tank modifications and skimmer maintenance.)


All of our coolant skimmers are rugged, reliable and low maintenance. Removal capacities range from 1 to 200 gallons per hour. Browse the types of oil skimmers and oil skimming accessories in our website www.abanaki.com or contact our experts at 440-543-7400 to find the right solution for your application.


Unfamiliar with our Oil Skimming products? Go to the Skimmer Selection page to view the types of oil skimmers for every application.


Watch this video to see how to remove a higher amount of tramp oil.

Read More

Topics: oil skimmers, belt skimmer, oil skimming, removing oil from water, belt oil skimmer, oil skimmer media, rotten egg smell, odor

The Scoop on Oil Skimmers: Understand the Basics | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Jun 25, 2020 3:39:35 PM

Oil skimmers are simple, dependable and effective tools for removing oil, grease and other hydrocarbons from water. They usually pay for themselves within a few months. In order to ensure the oil skimmer you choose is right for your operation, there are certain steps you can follow.

Understand the Designs

First, understand that while designs vary, all oil skimmers rely on the fluid properties of specific gravity and surface tension. Most use a moving medium to remove floating oil from the fluid's surface , as shown in Figure 1 (the exception is a floating suction skimmer). Floating oil and grease cling to skimming media more readily than water. This allows media in the shape of a belt, disk, drum, etc. to pass through the fluid surface and pick up floating oil and grease while rejecting most of the water. The oily material is subsequently removed from the media with wiper blades or pinch rollers.

What Kind of Contaminant

Second, realize that the kind of contaminant being removed does affect the kind of skimmer you should choose. Grease skimming involves higher viscosity hydrocarbons. These skimmers must be operated at temperatures high enough to keep the grease fluid. This may require heating elements in the fluid reservoir and skimmer unit to keep the grease in a liquid state for easier pick-up and discharge. If floating grease forms into solid clumps or mats in the reservoir, a spray bar, aerator or other mechanical apparatus can be used to break up the grease and facilitate skimming.

When using bio-remediation techniques, skimmers can be used to first remove the bulk of the oil from the groundwater.

Power of the Skimmer

Finally, be aware of the power of a skimmer. Often a skimmer by itself can achieve the desired level of water purity. In more demanding situations, 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.


To learn more about oil skimmers, please contact our experts at 440-543-7400 or visit our website: www.abanaki.com


In this video, you will see how do different sizes Abanaki oil skimmers work with different media types. 

Read More

Topics: oil skimmers, belt skimmer, oil skimming, removing oil from water, belt oil skimmer, oil skimmer media

Oil Skimming: What is a DNAPL? | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on May 29, 2020 2:00:00 PM

DNAPL is short for dense non-aqueous phase liquid. Common DNAPLs include creosote, coal tar, and heavy oils; common DNAPL applications include degreasing and acting as a solvent. On the other hand, DNAPLs can also be the byproduct of industrial processes; in particular, a form of DNAPL known as multi-compound waste is a common type of waste oil. The defining aspect of DNAPLs, density, causes the mixture to sink in liquids like water or coolant. Because the sludge sinks, surface skimmers like rope skimmers have issues treating DNAPLs. Additionally, the density tends to cause problems with devices requiring a pump for collections because of its density, clogging the pipe or even breaking the pump itself.

Why are DNAPLs a Problem?

DNAPLs are common forms of wastewater pollution. Having DNAPLs leak into local groundwater is a violation of EPA regulations. In addition, DNAPLs can worsen working conditions in manufacturing. Often, these oils will emit a smell akin to sulfur as they break down.

DNAPLs may also reduce the effectiveness of machinery. The density can interfere with pumps or other methods of liquid conveyance, while the chemical properties of the DNAPL, depending on composition, can have adverse effects on the liquid it is suspended in.

These problems can actively interfere with the intended function of the machinery, leading to productivity loss or even damage to the machine.

How are DNAPLs Collected?

For DNAPLS, there are two general means of treatment: extraction and destruction. Extraction denotes the removal of the DNAPL from the liquid, while destruction means breaking down or neutralizing the DNAPLs to a level of minimal impact.

Methods of treatment include bioremediation, in situ methods like oxidation, reduction and flushing, barriers, soil vapor extraction (abbreviated as SVE) and air sparging, solidification and stabilization, pump and treat, and excavation. Skimmers are often used as supplements for in situ methods like flushing to hasten the removal of free-floating DNAPLs.  

Belt Oil Skimmers are the Best Method?

Belt oil skimmers can be an effective means of DNAPL treatment. Having an oleophilic belt gives the belt oil skimmer an inherent way to attract floating oils and emulsified fluids without relying on pumps or other like means. In addition, a belt oil skimmer like the PetroXtractor requires far less daily maintenance than pumps or other means of collection.

When pumps break down from clogs or internal mechanical failures, additional time is needed to correctly assess the problem and repair the problem. The pump also collects excess water, which is expected to be pumped back in the well and adds extra cost. Oil skimmers circumvent these problems.

The streamlined design of the PetroXtractor makes for easy assessment and repair in case of malfunction. Belt oil skimmers do not face the same clogging issues pumps do simply because there is almost nothing to clog.

Upkeep is straightforward and easy on a skimmer, often requiring a visit only once a week. The design of the PetroXtractor focuses on the collection of LNAPLs and DNAPLs without collecting water, preventing excess fluid from being collected. The PetroXtractor also can operate in fluctuating water levels as well as in more extreme conditions that pumps may have issues handling.


To learn more about oil skimmers, please contact our experts at 440-543-7400 or visit our website: www.abanaki.com


 

How Does a Well Oil Skimmer Work? | Abanaki

This animated demo shows how the PetroXtractor well oil skimmer works great with a large vertical drop making it ideal for wells and other small openings. Depths of 100 feet or more can be handled without the use of pumps.

Read More

Topics: oil skimmers, belt skimmer, oil skimming, petroxtractor, belt oil skimmer, well oil skimmer

Matching an Oil Skimmer to the Application – Part 5 | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on May 27, 2020 10:25:58 AM

Sometimes called pumpless groundwater remediation systems, oil skimming is the lowest cost way to remove hydrocarbon contamination from groundwater. Oil skimming alone may clean water to acceptable levels or be used as a pre-filter treatment. It is the most inexpensive way to remove LNAPLs or DNAPLs.

Recovery/Monitoring Wells

Removing oil, fuel and other hydrocarbon liquid from wells can be more cost-effective using a belt skimmer instead of a down well pump. Oil skimmers don’t have nearly the maintenance issues and can reach depths of 100 feet or more, removing product despite fluctuating water tables. Oil skimmers can handle very thick fluids effortlessly and some (Abanaki PetroXtractor) can remove sinking DNAPL’s such as coal tar and creosote from water.

Solution: The Abanaki PetroXtractor® is a dependable and cost effective means of removing oil, fuel, and other floating hydrocarbons from water where access to the fluid surface is limited. It provides efficient remediation of groundwater contaminated by oil, using existing recovery and monitoring wells.

Alternative: PetroXtractor Solar Unit

Abanaki Corporation manufactures a wide variety of oil skimmers to meet any size application. From a small coolant tank in a CNC lathe to a scale pit in a steel mill, Abanaki Corporation can supply a skimmer to do the job. We manufacture skimmers that can remove 1 gallon per hour to 200 gallons per hour. We offer turnkey systems with variety of motors, heat options, stands, and oil concentrators. Learn more about the cost-effective oil skimming solutions Abanaki offers by visiting www.abanaki.com.


To learn more about oil skimmers, please contact our experts at 440-543-7400 or visit our website: www.abanaki.com


Abanaki PetroXtractor® in action:

Read More

Topics: oil skimmers, belt skimmer, oil skimming, belt oil skimmer, oil skimmer media

Matching an Oil Skimmer to the Application – Part 4 | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Apr 29, 2020 10:15:00 AM

The relationship between oil and water in a mixture is well-known and governed by two physical properties:

Specific Gravity

Most hydrocarbons have a lower specific gravity than water. Without agitation, oil separates from the water and floats to the surface. These oils are known as LNAPL’s, Light Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid. Oils (and other compounds) that sink in water have a higher specific gravity and are known as DNAPL’s, Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid.

Surface Tension and Affinity

Normally, oil bonds more tightly to itself and other materials than to water. This affinity, and differences in surface tension between oil and water, cause oils to adhere to a skimming medium.

When properly selected and applied, oil skimmers are highly economical solutions for separating oil from water to allow its reuse or safe disposal. However, there are certain applications that can expect optimal results. Typical applications best suited for oil skimmers encompass wastewater sumps, coolants and cutting fluids, heat treating operations, parts washers, food processing facilities, parking lots, garages, service facilities, outdoor ponds/lakes/basins, recovery/monitoring wells, remediation processes, and many more.

Parking Lots, Garages and Service Facilities

Waste oil leaks, spills and other sources must be retrieved from sumps before water can be discharged to storm or sanitary sewers.

Solution: Depending on the characteristics of the liquid, it is possible for the Model 4 alone to reduce oil content to less than five parts per million in water. The Model 4 utilizes a continuous belt and wiper to remove up to 20 gallons of oil per hour from the fluid surface.

Alternative: Tote It

Outdoor Ponds, Lakes, Basins, Etc.

Where floating oils are present, oil skimmers provide inexpensive and effective removal, solving a serious environmental problem.

Solution: The Abanaki Oil Viper tube skimmer effectively removes floating surface oils by means of a oleophilic (oil attracting) ¾” diameter continuous looped tube. The tube extends out over the surface of the tank or pit and collects the free-floating oils.

Alternative: Model 8, Model 4


To learn more about oil skimmers, please contact our experts at 440-543-7400 or visit our website: www.abanaki.com


In this video, you will see how do different sizes Abanaki oil skimmers work with different media types. 

Read More

Topics: oil skimmers, belt skimmer, oil skimming, belt oil skimmer, oil skimmer media

Matching an Oil Skimmer to the Application – Part 3 | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Apr 21, 2020 9:00:52 AM

There are several types of industrial oil skimmers. Choosing one best suited for your application will maximize oil removal while minimizing capital outlay and oil skimmer operating costs. First, define the application in terms of the following characteristics:

Operating Conditions

All oil skimmers have a moving medium, and possibly other parts, immersed in the liquid. The performance and life of the pick-up medium, wiper blades, pulleys, etc. are affected by different conditions. These conditions include temperatures in and out of the liquid, pH of the solution, and the presence of solvents or other reactive chemicals.

Removal Capacity

Oil skimmers usually have an oil removal rate expressed in gallons per hour. The rate varies with oil viscosity, so Abanaki rates skimmers using SAE 30 weight motor oil at 65°F (18°C). When specifying removal capacity, it is better to err on the high side to allow for peaks in the oil influx.

Tank or Sump Characteristics

The location, shape, and capacity of a tank or water impoundment are major factors in choosing the right oil skimmer. Also consider fluctuations in water level, turbulence and possible emulsions. Although oil skimmers do not cause emulsions, they can have trouble removing certain types.

Food Processing Facilities

Removal of vegetable oils, greases, and animal fats from a plant’s wastewater stream reduces the costs of processing and disposal.

Solution: The heart of the system features a patented design grease skimmer. Unlike oil skimmers this system was designed and developed specifically to pick up heavy grease and oil. The Grease Grabber® makes use of the differences in specific gravity and surface tension between grease and water.

Alternative: Model 4, Model 8

Steel Mills/Scale Pits

Most steel mills have scale pits in which grease and heavy oil accumulate. In order to avoid fines from the government and expensive sand bed filters, steel mills must limit the amount of grease in wastewater discharge into the environment. Reclaimed grease and oil can be re-used or used as furnace fuel, avoiding sucker truck disposal costs.

Solution: The Model 8 utilizes a continuous belt and wiper to remove up to 40 gallons of oil per hour from the fluid surface. The unit can be used as a pre-treatment before filtration, and in conjunction with coalescing systems.

Alternative:Grease Grabber


To learn more about oil skimmers, please contact our experts at 440-543-7400 or visit our website: www.abanaki.com


Abanaki Model 8 Belt Skimmer in Operation

Click button below to access our video directly.

Watch Video

Read More

Topics: oil skimmers, belt skimmer, oil skimming, belt oil skimmer

Matching an Oil Skimmer to the Application – Part 2 | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Mar 27, 2020 12:28:10 PM

Although designs vary, all oil skimmers rely on specific gravity, surface tension and a moving medium to remove floating oil from a fluid’s surface.

Floating oil and grease cling to skimming media more readily than water, and water has little affinity for the media. This allows skimming media in the shape of the belt, disk, drum, etc. to pass through a fluid surface to pick up floating oil and grease with very little water. This oily material is subsequently removed from the media with wiper blades or pinch rollers.

Oil skimmers offers a simple, dependable and effective solution for removing oil, grease and other hydrocarbons from water and coolant. In some cases, operating an oil skimmer alone can achieve the desired level of water purity. In more demanding applications, oil skimming is a cost-effective means of removing the worst of the oil contamination while protecting more sophisticated methods such as coalescers, membrane filters and chemical processes.

Parts Washers

Floating oils re-contaminate parts as they are removed from a wash tank. Oil skimmers can remove this oil. The benefits of using an oil skimmer are oil-free parts and extended  fluid life.

Solution: The stainless steel Mighty Mini is a compact belt skimmer designed for parts washers and machine tool coolant sumps. With its large discharge trough and small operating space, the Mighty Mini fits almost anywhere.

Alternative: Tote It, Model 4, Model 8

Heat Treating

Quench oils that must be removed from heat treated parts can be recaptured for re-use or disposal. The results are lower quench oil costs, prolonged wash water life and lower disposal costs.

 Solution: The Tote-It’s patented design is a dependable and effective means of removing free floating oil from water.  The single assembly unit can be used in any application where 115 VAC, 60 or 220V, 50 Hz power is available. The Tote-It utilizes a continuous belt and wiper to remove up to 12 gallons of oil per hour from the fluid surface.

Alternative: Model 4, Mighty Mini


To learn more about oil skimmers, please contact our experts at 440-543-7400 or visit our website: www.abanaki.com


Abanaki has a new reference that can help you choose the right skimmer and the right size to ensure years of worry-free operation.

Click button below to access our “How to Successfully Implement Oil Skimmers” webinar to learn how to get the most out of your skimmer.

Watch Webinar

Read More

Topics: oil skimmers, belt skimmer, oil skimming, belt oil skimmer

Matching an Oil Skimmer to the Application – Part 1 | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Mar 24, 2020 1:04:02 PM

There are many oil skimmer choices available but, how do you determine the best for the application? Two things should be considered at the start of the search. First, how much volume of contaminated oil requires removing? Every skimmer offers an oil removal yardstick measured in gallons per hour. Second, what are the dimensions of tank where skimmer will be operating? Some skimmers remove oil more efficiently than others based on the size of tank.   Even if there is a low volume of floating oil in an application, a smaller skimmer may not be the ideal solution if the surface area is too large. 

Wastewater Sumps

Most manufacturing or processing facilities have water systems where waste oil collects in a central tank or sump. Skimming the floating oils with little water content can reduce the cost of disposal and lower the contingent liabilities of wastewater discharge.

Solution: Model MB is designed for those applications where other skimmers do not provide adequate removal capacity. Multiple of two, three, or five belts are available. From a mere shimmer on top of water to a heavy oil slick, the Model MB performs efficiently, removing up to 200 gallons of oil per hour.

Alternative: Model 8, Model 4

Coolants and Cutting Fluids

When machine coolants become contaminated with tramp oils, four things usually occur: 1) coolant life is reduced; 2) quality of machined parts is reduced; 3) in many cases, a smoke will begin to appear in the shop, causing irritation to the workers on jobs; and 4) the fluid takes on a “rotten egg” odor. Oil skimmers that remove tramp oils solve these problems and typically pay for themselves within a few months.

Solution: The Oil Boss clings to the side of the machine tool above the sump at approximately eye level. The small SurfaceSucker™ floats in the sump and draws in the top fluid layer. The coolant is pumped to the Oil Boss, where it passes through its special coalescing media causes the oil to separate from the coolant. The oil is held in the oil containment area, until the operator opens the disposal tap and drains the oil. The filtered fluid then travels into the clean chamber where is automatically pumped back to the sump.

Alternative: Mighty Mini, Tubetastic, Mighty Disk, Lil Blue


To learn more about oil skimmers, please contact our experts at 440-543-7400 or visit our website: www.abanaki.com


In this video, you will see how do different sizes Abanaki oil skimmers work with different media types. 

Read More

Topics: oil skimmers, belt skimmer, oil skimming, belt oil skimmer, oil skimmer media

Tender Loving Care for Oil Skimmer | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Feb 24, 2020 9:15:00 AM

Oil skimmers are very simple pieces of equipment that can help you tackle a very serious wastewater issue. They are a low-cost and environmentally sound solution to waste oil recovery. They are by no means high-maintenance or difficult to use, but do require some routine work every now and then and a little tinkering here or there.

So how do you know when it is time to show your oil skimmer some TLC? Here are some things to look out for:

Are the wiper blades on your oil skimmer making smooth contact with the belt?

Somewhat of a common sense point but still worth mentioning. In order to successfully skim away the hydrocarbon, the wipers on the skimmer need to hit the belt perfectly. And this applies to any type or brand of skimmer. If the wiper blades are covered in goop, covered in debris, or if they are old and worn down, the skimmer will not be able to operate as intended. If you think something is amok with the way your oil skimmer is skimming, start with the wiper blades. They are an easy fix and new blades can make a world of a difference.

Is the belt riding away from the sides of the pulley?

Is the oil skimmer wobbly? Does the whole operation seem wonky? If things appear off, then they probably are. Double check to make sure that the oil skimmer is level in the tank, pit, sump, or well. If things still seem off, then see common sense point 1 about making sure the wipers are clean and not warped.

Has the belt seen better days?

Then replace it! Belts will typically last a long time, but as the great Robert Frost so poetically said, “Nothing gold can stay”. Belts will operate even past the point that they should. However, if you notice any fraying or tears, even if it is slight, it would be in your best interest if you replaced the belt. And going back to bullet point one, if your wipers are sketchy then they are going to mess your belt up.


 

All of our coolant skimmers are rugged, reliable and low maintenance. Removal capacities range from 1 to 200 gallons per hour. Browse the types of oil skimmers and oil skimming accessories in our website www.abanaki.com or contact our experts at 440-543-7400 to find the right solution for your application.


Unfamiliar with our Oil Skimming products? Go to the Skimmer Selection page to view the types of oil skimmers for every application.


Watch this video to see how to remove a higher amount of tramp oil.

Read More

Topics: oil skimmers, belt skimmer, oil skimming, removing oil from water, belt oil skimmer, oil skimmer media, rotten egg smell, odor

Is Oil Skimmer Maintenance Necessary? | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Feb 21, 2020 9:13:44 AM

If you’re not reclaiming your used oil than you are awarded no points, may not collect $200, or pass Go. If you are, you get all of the points. However, if you are doing this but NOT taking care of the equipment that is helping you reclaim that used oil, then you are just as much a part of the losing team.

Maintenance Needed?

Just like any piece of equipment; cars, computers, those 5-in-1 breakfast sandwich maker machines, all of them need tinkering and routine maintenance in order to keep the gears turning and the eggs fluffy. With that being said, oil skimmer maintenance is crucial in not only ensuring proper waste oil recovery, but overall success of your entire operation.

Over the years we have seen some troubling scenes. The things people do to oil skimmers…it is horrific. Years upon years of oil and incalculable layers of gunk encrusted all over the machine. Discharge valves clogged to the point where the skimmed content barely drips out. THE ORIGINAL BELT. For shame. All of you.

Quick Overview of How Oil Skimmers Work

If you’re not familiar with how oil skimmers work, here’s a quick overview: Although designs vary, all oil skimmers rely on specific gravity, surface tension and a moving medium to remove floating oil from a fluid's surface.

Floating oil and grease cling to skimming media more readily than water, and water has little affinity for the media. This allows skimming media in the shape of a belt, disk, drum, etc. to pass through a fluid surface to pick up floating oil and grease with very little water. This oily material is subsequently removed from the media with wiper blades or pinch rollers.

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.


To learn more about oil skimmers, please contact our experts at 440-543-7400 or visit our website: www.abanaki.com


Abanaki has a new reference that can help you choose the right skimmer and the right size to ensure years of worry-free operation.

Click button below to access our “How to Successfully Implement Oil Skimmers” webinar to learn how to get the most out of your skimmer.

Watch Webinar

Read More

Topics: oil skimmers, belt skimmer, oil skimming, coolant maintenance, coolant skimmer, belt oil skimmer

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all

Follow Me