Oil Skimmer Blog

Simple Rules for Buying an Oil Skimmer | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Dec 16, 2021 9:13:58 AM

When deciding on what oil skimmer is right for your application, there are many things that need to be considered and addressed before purchasing. Knowing what size skimmer to buy all depends on specifics of the application at hand. If you think buying the biggest skimmer available is the right choice because it will get the job done faster or buying the smallest skimmer will be more cost-effective, then you would be a fool. Don’t be a fool. Let us help you pick out the right size!

Size of the Skimmed Area

First thing to remember when selecting a size is that oil skimmers should be selected by the size of the area that needs to be skimmed, not just by the amount of oil needing to be removed. Choosing an oil skimmer that has the capacity to remove at least 2 times the capacity needed by the application should be the deciding factor.

Other Factors to be Considered

Oil skimmer capacities are based on optimum conditions and homogeneity of oil. Viscosity, temperature of the water, and other factors can affect the amount of hydrocarbons picked up by an oil skimmer, and thus need to be taken into consideration.

Plus, you need the proper media on your skimmer in order to ensure the best results. And if you think all belt types or materials operate the same or that simply picking the cheapest option will suffice, you’re wrong and you’d be setting yourself up for failure. You can have a skimmer that is top of the line, but if you have the wrong belt, tube, or disc material on it then it won’t matter how great of a skimmer you have in that tank. Your results will be less than stellar.

It is impossible to accurately predict how fast your oil will be picked up. So don’t even try, wise guy.

The most important rule to follow when choosing a size is to purchase a skimmer that is rated at least twice the capacity needed. If you’re still having questions download our 7 Pitfalls of Oil Skimming. This handy guidebook helps you through the sizing and buying process.

How to Successfully Implement Oil Skimmers


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

You are just one step away from downloading Abanaki's most detailed resource on our oil skimming equipment. Simply click at the button to get your ultimate guide now.

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Topics: groundwater remediation, coolant maintenance, industrial wastewater

Not Telling Your Consultant or Vendor Everything? | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Sep 30, 2021 10:45:00 AM

Oil skimmer selection can be a very complex process. There are numerous factors that go into selecting the right oil skimmer for your particular application. If the oil skimmer vendor does not know what chemicals or heat you have in your application, the wrong oil skimmer and belt materials could be selected, and the job will not get done correctly.

It is important that you gather as much information about your application as possible when you’re ready to consult a vendor. Describing every component of your process and all the contents of the tanks is crucial. Tell us everything!


These are all conversation points that your vendor should inquire about and you should have answers to. Remember: in order to make the most out of your oil skimmer, the right skimmer and belt material needs to be selected to work perfectly with your application!


Selecting an oil skimmer can be a complex decision-making process. There are various factors you have to consider about your application when choosing the right skimmer. Abanaki oil skimmers are durable and built to last, even in harsh applications. They have been proven in thousands of applications and are an environmental solution to unwanted oil in water. Abanaki sales reps have a vast knowledge on a wide variety of industrial applications. They are always available for phone calls, emails, or on-site consultations to help you find the right skimmer for your application.

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.

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Topics: groundwater remediation, coolant maintenance, industrial wastewater

9 Ways to Treat DNAPLs | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Sep 17, 2021 11:15:00 AM

Difficult to remove and dangerous to the health of the environment and humans, DNAPLs are a persistent thorn in the side for many areas. Still, there are many ways to treat DNAPLs; the key is to find the correct method for the individual site.

What is a DNAPL?

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.

Which method is best for Treating DNAPLs?

Each of the following methods have their advantages and disadvantages. The conditions present in each treatment site determine the effectiveness and cost of individual methods and is the largest factor in choosing treatment method. As such, a good working knowledge of the treatment site is key to effective remediation.


Excavation, where an environmental remediation firm will dig to the DNAPL and remove the pollutant, is by far the most effective method and has close to 100% efficiency. Excavation is also expensive and impractical, since the DNAPLs are often deep underground and require significant amounts of manpower and machinery to reach the aquifer.


Bioremediation is a much more common method. By introducing or encouraging the growth of organisms that can digest the DNAPL, bioremediation breaks down the pollutant into ecologically friendly substances. Bioremediation not only treats the DNAPL effectively, but can also potentially treat other pollutants in the remediation area and does not require the removal of waste.

Belt skimmers

Belt 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.

Air sparging

Air sparging involves pumping pressurized air into the groundwater, causing the hydrocarbons in the water to become a gas. This gas is then sucked up by vacuum extraction. Air sparging is unable to function with low air permeability and functions inefficiently when the air permeability is too high.

Soil vapor extraction

Soil vapor extraction (SVE) is similar to air sparging, but focuses on removing contaminants from the surrounding soil rather than groundwater. As such, the technique shares may of its advantages and disadvantages with air sparging. Both techniques are focused on environmental remediation; although some industrial processes may be able to accommodate air sparging, most will find the introduction of gas into a potentially polluted tank will propagate foul smells and potentially harmful gases.


Solidification involves immobilizing the contaminant via chemical or physical means. Often, this method relies on trapping contaminants in soil, either reducing contamination of the aquifer or making the contaminant easier to remove. Inorganic pollutants, such as radionuclides, can be collected more easily and with fewer health risks like radiation poisoning.

In situ oxidation

In situ oxidation involves the injection of chemical oxidizers, materials such as oxygen or the halogen family that encourage the loss of electrons, into the contaminated area. The chemical reaction between the chemical oxidizer and the pollutant renders the pollutant harmless. Often, oxidation is used for chemical pollutants. Oxidation still needs to react with the substance; if the pollutant is not easily oxidized, the treatment will have no effect.

In-situ chemical reduction

In-situ chemical reduction is similar in concept to In-situ oxidation. Usually used to treat chromium and the solvent trichloroethene, the method introduces a reducing agent such as zero-valent iron nanoparticles to reduce the number of electrons in a contaminant and change the contaminant to something less harmful.

Pump and treat

Pump and treat refers to the process of pumping out the groundwater from the aquifer and subsequently treating that groundwater through any number of means, including most of the methods listed above. Pumping out the water makes the water easier to treat since the conditions can be adjusted for better collection and the aquifer may not be suited to the optimal method of remediation.

Collecting DNAPLs can be a difficult task but is possible with enough foresight and planning. By understanding the nature of the contamination and the unique environment the treatment occurs in, an effective treatment method can be selected.

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? 

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Topics: groundwater remediation, belt oil skimmer, well oil skimmer

Oil Skimming is the Most Effective Solution to Refineries | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Jun 23, 2021 10:14:54 AM

Refineries are capable of producing gasoline, jet fuel, or even asphalt and, like most large-scale high-capacity plants, require process optimization and advanced process controls.

Oil Skimming Solution

Oil skimming is a popular method for capturing and removing oil from wastewater in plant treatment systems. This process is mandatory to avoid fines and to produce fuel as economically and environmentally friendly as possible. Oil skimmers work by making use of the differences in specific gravity and surface tension between oil and water. These physical characteristics allow the belts to attract oil and other hydrocarbon liquids from the surface of the fluid.

By implementing an oil skimming solution, the goal to recapture 100% of all hydrocarbons before they go down the drain, can be achieved. The oil skimmer collects the bulk of the hydrocarbons and sends them back to a crude tank. Any residual oils can be removed through filtration or chemical treatment. The oil skimmer is operated 24 hours a day 7 days a week. A refinery oil skimmer requires very little oversight, no maintenance, and the time saved more than offsets the electrical costs.

Abanaki Oil Skimmers

The Model 8 oil skimmer is the most widely used Abanaki oil skimmer. Its size and removal capacity make it suitable for most applications. From a mere shimmer on top of water to a heavy oil slick, the Model 8 oil skimmer performs efficiently, removing up to 40 gallons of oil per hour.

The Abanaki Model MB oil skimmer is a dependable and effective means of removing oil from water and water-base solutions. 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 the Model MB 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 a coalescing system.

The Model 4 oil skimmer utilizes a continuous belt and wiper to remove up to 20 gallons of oil per hour from the fluid surface. 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 Abanaki Oil Viper tube skimmer is a surface oil skimmer that effectively removes floating surface oils by means of an oleophilic (oil attracting) 3/4 inch diameter continuous looped tube. The tube extends out over the surface of the tank or pit and collects the free-floating oils. The Oil Viper has a specially designed method for removing the oil from the tube. It has a unique wiper combination attached to the tube itself in addition to the ceramic wiper on the skimmer.

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

Oil Skimmers Get the Dirty Jobs Done

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Topics: groundwater remediation, refinery, industrial wastewater

Belt Oil Skimmers are Made for Groundwater Remediation | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on May 24, 2021 2:53:20 PM

Sometimes, an important technological advance begins with a small step-back! Such is the case with remediation of hydrocarbons from groundwater utilizing existing recovery and monitoring wells.

For the past few years, state government has based decisions on the amount of clean up that they require by the risk posed to the environment. Risk Based Corrective Action, commonly called “Rebecca” (RBCA), is a process that utilizes the principles of exposure assessment, toxicity and mobility to make corrective action decisions on sites that are cost effective while still protecting human health as well as that of the environment. Many times, all they require is removal of the free-phase product, allowing any emulsified contaminant to degrade with time. RBCA has saved many millions of dollars both for taxpayers and for businesses. With state regulatory agencies taking this approach, oil skimming devices have emerged as one of the most cost-effective groundwater remediation equipment choices.

Oil Skimmer is the Solution in Groundwater Remediation

Wastewater engineers in industrial settings have, for many years, understood the value of oil skimmers in the removal of hydrocarbons from water. Food processing plants, the metals industry, machining firms and utilities have all used oil skimmers with great success for wastewater treatment. Recently, oil skimmer manufacturers have modified their product as groundwater remediation equipment. The belt oil skimmer’s ability to get into tight spaces and remove relatively large amounts of hydrocarbons lends itself perfectly to groundwater remediation.

Since most oils, fuels and other hydrocarbon liquids have the tendency to float on water, oil skimmers are designed to remove only the top, free-phase, product layer. With only product being removed, the cost and maintenance of other down-well and water treatment equipment can be eliminated. Another cost advantage to oil skimming is that in many cases the product can be salvaged for reuse – further reducing the overall price by eliminating the disposal cost.

Belt Oil Skimmers are the Most Cost-Effective Method

The options for remediation equipment through recovery wells are practically unlimited since these wells come in a variety of sizes; any of the available technologies such as pump and treat of bio-remediation can be used in the correct size recovery well. Monitoring wells, however, are small, typically less than 4 inches in diameter. Initially installed for the monitoring of groundwater they are cheaper to construct and just large enough to allow a baling device or oil/water interface detector to pass through. As a cost savings measure, these small diameter wells are increasingly being used for product removal. With the increase in this new use, it is only natural that a number of devices are showing up claiming the ability to remove product through monitoring wells.

With the requirements for groundwater remediation systems becoming more reasonable, the use of skimming devices in lieu of pump and treat systems is increasing. The enormous expense involved with treating millions of gallons of water including the remediation equipment, monitoring and related maintenance is being replaced with a much more common-sense attitude. Oil skimmers, especially belt oil skimmers, as a means of remediation equipment, not only meet the challenge but, most times exceed. Pump and treat still has a place in this industry, but the small step “backward” to time proven skimming, a more reasonable and cost-effective method, cannot be overlooked.

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? 

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Topics: groundwater remediation, belt oil skimmer, well oil skimmer

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

Unfamiliar with DNAPLs? Read our guide and find out more!

Posted by Tom Hobson on Jan 23, 2017 8:15:00 AM

We understand the difficulties in treating a variety of pollutants in groundwater. Dense non-aqueous phase liquids, or DNAPLs, can be extremely tricky to treat. Creosote, coal tar, and many other heavy pollutants can sit at the bottom of groundwater aquifers or sump tanks and release additional pollutants. How should one resolve these issues? Read more about the latest white paper:

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Topics: groundwater remediation, petroxtractor, DNAPLs

Early Bird Gets the Oil Skimmer

Posted by Tom Hobson on May 8, 2015 6:11:00 AM


The Choosing Your Oil Skimmer Webinar is a 12-minute video explaining how to appropriately size and select the right skimmer for your application. Get Your Copy Now.
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Topics: groundwater remediation, oil skimmer, petroxtractor, UK

Quick Guide: Groundwater Remediation

Posted by Tom Hobson on Mar 12, 2015 9:39:45 AM
Click here to receive a free copy of the Abanaki Line Card. This informational guide includes photos and text about all Abanaki product lines. You can click on each to see complete product details.
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Topics: infographic, groundwater remediation, oil skimmer, petroxtractor

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