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.