Choosing an oil skimmer best suited for your application will maximize oil removal while minimizing capital outlay and oil skimming operation costs. The third step in choosing an oil skimmer is distinguishing your 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.
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 your tank or sump provides quiet areas, weirs, and sufficient volume to allow adequate time for oil/water separation.
Tanks without nooks and crannies for oil to accumulate in are best. If you have an irregular shape, put the oil skimmer where the largest amount of oil accumulates. Consider a means of directing oil towards the oil skimmer such as a floating boom or baffle plate.
The physical location and characteristics of the tank and collection container are important. Does skimmed oil need tom be pumped from the oil skimmer to the container? Will oil skimmer access for periodic maintenance be a problem? How much mounting space is available? Are tank or container modifications required? Cheap oil skimming systems quickly lose appeal when costs for additional components, increased maintenance and expensive tank modifications are involved.
Stay tuned for part four of 'Choosing an Oil Skimmer. To learn more about which skimmers work better in specific tanks or sumps, click the photo below.