Oil Skimmer Blog

How an Oil Skimmer Saved Cows From Pollution

Posted by Tom Hobson on May 20, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Oil Skimmer Keeps Auto-Dismantler in Compliance and the Cows Happy
Environmentally Sound Solution to Unwanted Oil Reduces Disposal Costs

The Oily Issue

Auto Spares and Salvage is an Auto-Dismantling facility in the UK. Like many auto-dismantlers, the company operates in a rural/farmland area. There are strict EA laws in place that require companies like auto-dismantlers to be responsible for any pollutants they might produce during any process. Failure to comply with these laws can result in hefty fines for the companies.

When it comes to oil, the main goal for auto-dismantlers is to keep the oil from reaching any natural water source. To do this, site operators must keep the pits or interceptors clean. Should the interceptors become too full, there is the chance that the oil or hydrocarbons can leech into the groundwater, which can become quite the environmental disaster. Heavy rainwater can cause the interceptors to run over and again seep into the nearby groundwater.

For Auto Sparstc_pic_2.jpges and Salvage, this task is particularly important because the company’s next door neighbours are a field of cows. These cows literally drink from the water coming from the auto-dismantling site. It was Auto Spares and Salvage’s top priority to make sure the water exiting the site was clean enough for the cows to drink. With that thought in mind, Wood set out to find a solution that would make cleaning the interceptors easy and efficient for site operators, would reduce removal costs, and was an environmentally sound solution that would ensure the bovine neighbours would have access to clean drinking water. 

A Green Solution

After learning about Abanaki Oil Skimmers from an advert on ATF Pro, Wood reached out to Graham Smith to try and find a cost-effective solution that would also adhere to stc_pic_3.jpgthe company’s need to keep their process green/environmentally sound. Graham Smith visited the site and determined that the company would benefit from the use of Abanaki’s PetroXtractor oil skimmer.

The PetroXtractor is a dependable and cost-effective solution to unwanted oil in water where access to the fluid surface is limited. It acts efficiently as remediation equipment for groundwater contaminated by oil, using existing recovery and monitoring wells. The PetroXtractor is capable of reducing oil or fuel content to acceptable governmental standards. It can reach depths of 30 meters or more without the use of pumps. It can be installed in existing wells by mounting it on a flat surface above the well casing with removal rates of up to 45 lph.

Why Choose an Oil Skimmer?

Oil skimming makes use of the differences in specific gravity and surface tension between oil and water. These physical characteristics allow the belt to attract oil and other hydrocarbon liquids from the surface of the fluid. Often, oil skimming by itself will reduce oil to an acceptable level of water purity. Depending on the characteristics of the liquid, it is possible for oil skimmers alone to reduce oil content to less than five parts per million in water. The unit can be used as a pretreatment before filtration, and in conjunction with coalescing systems as part of an industrial wastewater treatment plan. Oil skimmers offer a cost-effective and environmentally sound solution to oil in water problems.

How the Savings Stacked Up

stc_pic_3_and_a_half.jpgTypically the PetroXtractor’s 12v DC battery is run on solar power, however the company has a different idea in mind to operate the oil skimmer. Site operators were able to make use of their stockpile of old car batteries for power. Nothing goes to waste here! The PetroXtractor retrieves hydrocarbons and it is collected into 20 lt containers. From there the containers are transferred to a 3000 lt steel tank. The waste oil is then sold off for profit.

Wood explains that some of the key benefits in utilizing the PetroXtractor are that it is simple to use, site operators think it’s been a great addition to the facility, it alleviates some of the burden of day to day tasks, and it is very easy to train someone on how to operate the skimmer. In terms of cost, the PetroXtractor has made drastic improvements at keeping costs down. Initially the interceptor was cleaned multiple times a year with costs nearing £2070.00. Since implementing the oil skimmer the interceptor is now emptied once a year at the cost of only £900.00. Wood says, “It’s one of the best investments made by the company and has proved to be successful over a number of years. It enhances our recycling potential”.


By utilizing a belt oil skimmer for their auto-dismantling process, Auto Spares and Salvage was able to reduce removal costs, stay in compliance with governmental standards, continue with their efforts to be environmentally aware and responsible, and improve the day to day tasks for site operators. And of course the cows next door are also happy with the end result.


To find out more about the PetroXtractor, visit www.abanaki.co.uk or www.abanaki.com. To learn more about the oil skimming technologies Abanaki offers, call Graham Smith at +01179 616679 or email skimmers@abanaki.co.uk.

Topics: oil, application, auto, oil skimmer, clean drinking water, petroxtractor, environmental, car, clean water, UK

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