Oil Skimmer Blog

Groundwater Remediation: Abanaki PetroXtractor is The New Solution to An Old Problem

Posted by Tom Hobson on May 17, 2018 4:07:56 PM

Everyone is thinking “Green”  these days and looking for ways to make the world a cleaner place. Why not start with the groundwater? Pump & treat is an old solution to an old problem. The oil and groundwater are both pumped from the monitoring well. They are usually put into a collection tank and then the groundwater is treated to remove the oil. The PetroXtractor belt oil skimmer allows just the oil to be removed eliminating the need to treat the groundwater. The PetroXtractor line boasts models that are designed to fit in 2”, 4” and 6” (or larger) casings.  The belt oil skimmer uses groundwater surface tension to draw oil to the belt. A new solution to an old problem!

The PetroXtractor groundwater remediation oil skimmer can be placed in an existing monitoring well and remove the oil from the contaminated groundwater quickly and efficiently. Just like the rest of the Abanaki oil skimmers, the PetroXtractor can remove a wide variety of oils including fuel oils, coal tar, and creosote at rates up to 12 gallons per hour. No more bailing, no more expensive pump and treat. The PetroXtractor oil skimmer is the perfect green solution for groundwater remediation.

The Abanaki Solar Powered PetroXtractor gives companies options where electricity is not available. Many times well remediation will occur at an abandoned site where electricity is no longer available and the cost to run electricity is cost prohibitive. Abanaki’s solar powered systems have all the same capacities that the electrical systems offer but without the need for electricity. The Abanaki solar powered system with its battery back-up is designed to work in all parts of the country.

Find out more about PetroXtractor.

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Topics: coolant, groundwater remediation, oil skimmer, petroxtractor, industrial applications, Solar Oil Skimming System

Abanaki Oil Skimmers: Not a “One and Done” Deal

Posted by Tom Hobson on Apr 26, 2018 9:45:00 AM

Many customers have come to realize that, when they purchase an oil skimmer from Abanaki, it is not a “one and done” deal.  Although the rugged construction of all of Abanaki’s oil skimmers assures a long-lasting, beneficial product, proper maintenance is important.

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Topics: coolant, groundwater remediation, oil skimmer, parts washer, industrial applications

Bill Clinton-era Skimmers Still in Use 20 Years Later

Posted by Tom Hobson on Mar 29, 2018 8:45:00 AM

Lasco Fittings, Inc., a global leader in pipe fittings for Irrigation/Golf, Plumbing, Pool/Spa, and Industrial customers, maintains a 26-acre manufacturing facility in Brownsville, Tennessee.  Hundreds of different parts with multiple manufacturing processes are created at their extensive facility.

Oil plays a vital, yet bothersome and dirty role in their production.  This is where Abanaki Corporation entered the picture for them, as it has for thousands of manufacturers worldwide. 

According to Ryan Hilliard, Maintenance Supervisor for Lasco Fittings, 10 Abanaki 2-inch Tote-It oil skimmers were purchased in 1999.  “Our (manufacturing) machines leak oil into this 110-foot long, 6-foot deep pit.  Our skimmers are permanently mounted on the end of this pit and run 24/7 with very little trouble.” 

Lasco periodically inspects and maintains the units, ensuring that the Abanaki skimmers keep the company running with cost-saving, manufacturing-enhancing, and environmentally-compliant benefits.

Abanaki oil skimmers extend the life of parts washers while also making them more efficient — by ending recontamination of parts.  Abanaki skimmers have actively served for nearly two decades for a high-quality manufacturer like Lasco Fittings, Inc., and they certainly can for you.  Are your parts washers working efficiently?

For further inquiry on Tote-It oil skimmer click below. As always, the Abanaki sales team is here, ready and waiting to help you choose the right oil skimmer for your application.

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Topics: coolant, oil skimmer, tote-it, Concentrators

“Hopeless” Oil Skimming Emergency? Abanaki Comes to the Rescue!

Posted by Tom Hobson on Mar 27, 2018 8:45:06 AM

There are over 25,000 plating companies in the USA operating under challenging manufacturing conditions. Facing high temperatures, abrasives, extreme pH and chemicals in parts washers and holding tanks, effective oil skimming seems like a nearly hopeless task.

Some companies know a solution. A select group of plating companies and metal finishers across the country are extending the life of their parts washer and eliminating recontamination of their parts.   These companies recognized that removing oil from their parts washers and holding tanks would enhance manufacturing efficiencies and provide cost-savings. They found the solution with the trusted the leader in oil skimming over the past 70 years — Abanaki Corporation.   

By working with the oil skimming experts at Abanaki, each of these customers have been able to determine the most appropriate skimmer for their own specific application — the Mighty-Mini, the Tote-It, the Model 4 and the Model 8.

And, rest assured, when all of the other plating companies and metal finishers are ready to address their “hopeless” manufacturing conditions, they'll dial Abanaki Corporation at 440-543-7400 to find their solution.

To find out which of our skimmers would suit your application the best, click the button below to get our E-Book guide.

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Topics: coolant, model 4, model 8, oil skimmer, tote-it, mighty mini

How a Refinery Oil Skimmer Saves Time and Money

Posted by Tom Hobson on Feb 28, 2018 1:16:33 PM

Refineries are capable of producing a range of materials as different as gasoline, jet fuel, or even asphalt. Like most large-scale, high-capacity plants, they require process optimization and advanced process controls. Refinery oil skimming is necessary for retrieving hydrocarbons from wastewater.

Implementing an oil skimming solution makes it possible for refineries to achieve the goal of recapturing 100% of all hydrocarbons before they go down the drain. A refinery oil skimmer collects the bulk of the hydrocarbons and sends them back to a crude tank. Filtration or chemical treatment can remove any residual oils. Refinery oil skimmers operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and require very little oversight and no maintenance. The time they save more than offsets the cost of the electricity needed to operate them.

To find out which of our skimmers would suit your refinery application the best, click the button below to launch our E-Book guide.

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For information on how our skimmers work in refinery applications, refinery case studies, and more, click here.

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Topics: coolant, model 8, oil skimmer, petroxtractor, Solar Oil Skimming System, Transfer Package

What Options Should I Consider for My Oil Skimmer?

Posted by Tom Hobson on Jan 25, 2018 2:10:58 PM

A typical industrial oil skimmer will offer units in single or triple phase.  When you need more performance, Abanaki specialized motors run our Oil Grabber oil skimmer in most environments:

  • Explosion proof
  • Drip proof
  • Tropicalized
  • Dirty duty
  • Food service
  • Wash down duty
  • DC motors
  • ATEX/European motors

Do you need other options?  Here is a short list of some of the most popular choices:

  1. Solar Oil Skimming System
    The solar oil skimming option is ideal for locations that do not have access or have limited access to electricity. A 12V DC motor runs off a deep cycle battery that is recharged by the solar panel. Various 12V accessories are available as well.
  2. Transfer Package and Underground Oil Skimming System

    This option is for applications in which the oil storage tank is far from the point of oil removal or for below ground applications. This turnkey system consists of a small collection tank, a pump, small control panel and three float switches. The oil that the oil skimmer picks up is deposited to the collection tank. When the collection tank is full, the middle float switch signals the pump to turn on. The oil is then pumped to your storage tank or facility for permanent removal or storage.

  3. Controls/Accessories
    Abanaki offers a float switch and warning light combina
    tion to monitor fluid level in the skimmed oil collection drum, which helps prevent overflow. Other electrical options include timers, heaters, and control panesl. Abanaki also offers poly shelters and discreet secure enclosures as well as a variety of mounting options for the oil skimmer.
  4. Concentrators
    Abanaki Oil Co
    ncentrators® provide a secondary separation step after oil skimming to virtually eliminate water from skimmed product. Units are available for easy installation on most Abanaki oil skimmers.
  1. Specialized mounting arrangements
    The Oil Grabbers have a variety of mounting arrangements design to make setup in even the most demanding applications a breeze.  These include floor mounts, wall mounts, flat mounts, channel mounts, guard rail mounts and boom mounts. 

We love a challenge, so if you need something not mentioned let us know and we will do our level best to give you a great solution.

For further inquiry on selecting the right oil skimmer for your application click below. As always, the Abanaki sales team is here, ready and waiting to help you choose the right oil skimmer for your application.

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Topics: coolant, oil skimmer, Solar Oil Skimming System, Transfer Package, Underground Oil Skimming System, Concentrators, Specialized mounting arrangements

5 Factors You Need to Know When Sizing an Oil Skimmer

Posted by Tom Hobson on Jan 16, 2018 4:33:22 PM

Choosing an oil skimmer best suited for your application will maximize oil removal while minimizing initial outlay and oil skimming operation costs.

How much skimmer capacity do you needCapacity should be based on the maximum amount of oil to be removed within the shortest available time. For instance, total oil influx may be 200 gallons in a 24-hour period, which averages about 8.3 gallons per hour. But if most of it comes during a single eight-hour plant shift, you will probably need a removal rate that is three times as high, especially if you are trying to prevent an unwanted 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.

What do the capacity ratings mean?
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). It is very important to ask the manufacturer what they are basing their capacities on and get an exact SAE weight or viscosity.  Beware of generalities like ‘a medium-weight oil.’

Will there be water in the skimmed oil?
All oil skimmers pick up some water with the oil they remove. Some designs, particularly suction skimmers, pick up more water than others. 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. An Oil Concentrator® or decanter installed at the oil skimmer discharge port provides secondary oil/ water separation that can reduce water content to nearly zero.

How much oil will be left in the tank?
An oil skimmer continues to remove oils as long as there are oils present. Depending on oil influx rate and the oil skimmer's removal rate, residual oil in the water may be as low as a few parts per million. When residual oil reaches this level and further reduction is required, it may be more practical to use a secondary removal method following skimming, such as membrane filtration.


What do I sacrifice if I choose a portable oil skimmer?
Oil skimmer portability is a plus in some applications. For example, in plants, mobile equipment service shops, and at remediation sites, a portable oil skimmer can sometimes service multiple machines, sumps, or wells. Portable units usually have a lower removal capacity than stationary units.  Also, when you move an oil skimmer it can be dripping water or oil when you remove it, so having a few rags on hand is a good idea.

If you need any help choosing the right oil skimmer, our experts are ready to help.  Give us a call at (440)543-7400 to learn more about choosing the oil skimmer best-suited for your application, or just click below.

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Topics: coolant, belt selection guide, oil skimmer, tank, capacity ratings

3 Tank Characteristics to consider in Choosing Oil Skimmers

Posted by Tom Hobson on Nov 21, 2017 8:52:36 AM

Choosing an oil skimmer best suited for your application will maximize oil removal while minimizing capital and operational costs. The impoundment capacity, shape, and location of a tank and water impoundment are major factors in choosing the right oil skimmer to lower your costs.


  1. Size/Design:
    It is critical that oil in the water is given the opportunity to separate. 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.
  2. Shape:
    Tanks without nooks and crannies for oil to get stuck 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.
  3. Location/Installation:
    The physical location and characteristics of the tank and collection container are important and it is vital to ask the right questions such as:
    • Does skimmed oil need to 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?

If you need any help choosing the right to put a skimmer, our experts are ready to help.  Give us a call at 1-440543-7400 or to learn more about which skimmers work better in specific tanks or sumps, click below.

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Topics: coolant, belt selection guide, oil skimmer belt, belt materials, oil skimmer, tank

Oil Skimming Myths Exposed! Get the Facts and Real Tips!

Posted by Tom Hobson on Sep 22, 2017 8:33:17 AM


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 grease, oil, and other hydrocarbon liquids from the far side of the tank.

Oil Skimming Tip:

When selecting an oil skimmer, be sure to place the skimmer where oil is already gathering.  This will ensure the quickest removal of the oil.


Belt oil skimmers and oil skimming will collect all types of oil including all free-floating oils, LNAPLS, DNAPLS, and some emulsified oils. The various belt materials  allow for any type of hydrocarbon removal.

Oil Skimming Tip:

There are several things to consider when choosing a belt for your oil skimmer. For example, some plastics won’t stand up to heat or strong chemicals, some metal belts won’t skim well from coolants due to rust inhibitors being present and certain plastic belts don’t last in heated applications. It is very important to choose a good oil skimmer vendor that offers a wide variety of belts to handle any situation.   Equally important is to inform them of the details of your application so they can provide assistance in choosing the proper belt material at the start.


Get  the Abanaki Interactive Oil Skimming Selection Guide to find the right skimmer for you.

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Topics: coolant, belt selection guide, oil skimmer belt, belt materials, oil skimmer

Machine Center Skimmer Solves Two Problems in One Application

Posted by Tom Hobson on Aug 3, 2017 4:15:53 PM

Recently, a US automotive parts engineering facility contacted Abanaki Corporation about two issues it was having at its plant.

  1. Wanting to reduce the high costs of constantly needing to replace its coolant due to oil contamination
  2. Removing the oil from the wastewater recovery trenches.

The Tote-It machine center skimmer was the answer. The skimmer is well suited for parts washing and machining center applications. By removing surface oil from a wash tank, the parts will not be recontaminated as they are withdrawn. Furthermore, by removing tramp oil from a coolant tank, the company prevents excessive smoke and fumes that are caused by oil burning during cutting operations. The Tote-it also reduces bacteria growth in the tank, along with the resulting odor.

Once the facility utilized the Tote-It skimmer in both the cooling tanks and the recovery tanks, it was able to successfully remove the oil from the coolant and from the wastewater.Additionally, with the ability to clean the oil laden coolant, the facility was able to save a significant amount of money and time on coolant disposal costs.

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Topics: coolant, oil skimmer, abanaki, tote-it, machine shops

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