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Oil Skimmer Blog

The Scoop on Oil Skimmers: Select by Application | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Jun 29, 2020 9:30:00 AM

There are several types of industrial oil skimmers. Choosing one best suited for your application will maximize oil removal while minimizing capital outlay and skimmer operating costs. You may define the application in terms of the following characteristics:

Operating Conditions

The performance and life of the pick-up medium, wiper blades, pulleys, etc. are affected by operating conditions. These include temperatures in and out of the liquid, the pH of the solution and the presence of solvents or other reactive chemicals.

Hazardous Materials

Applications involving flammable materials or explosive vapors require the use of explosion-proof (or air-driven) motors and controls.

Temperature/Viscosity

All skimmers require floating oil to be in a liquid, free-flowing state. (See Note 2 under Table 1 for an exception.) If the oil congeals or solidifies at ambient temperatures, the reservoir and/or skimmer will require heaters to maintain fluid flow.

Removal Rate

Skimmer removal rates, expressed in gph, vary with oil viscosity. Typically, manufacturers rate skimmers using SAE 30 weight motor oil at 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius). It's wise to ask for test data, especially if your application involves a much different viscosity. Your skimmer selection should be based on the maximum amount of oil to be removed within the shortest available time. For instance, suppose total oil influx is 200 gallons a day. The calculated average would be 200/24 = 8.3 gph. However, if most of it comes during a single 8-hour plant shift, you probably need a removal rate three times that average, especially if you need to prevent the 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.

Skimmed Water Content

All oil skimmers pick up some water with the oil. Suction skimmers pick up more water than other types. 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. A concentrator or decanter installed at the skimmer discharge port provides secondary oil/water separation that can reduce water content to nearly zero.

Residual Oil

A skimmer removes oil as long as it is present. Depending on oil influx rate and the skimmer's removal rate, residual oil in the water may be as low as a few parts per million. When further reduction is required, a secondary removal stage such as membrane filtration may be needed.

Portability

In some plants mobile equipment service shops and at remediation sites, a portable skimmer can sometimes service multiple machines, sumps or wells.

Tank or Sump Characteristics

The location, shape and capacity of a tank or water impoundment are major factors in choosing the right skimmer. Also consider fluctuations in water level, turbulence and possible emulsions. Although skimmers do not cause emulsions, they may have trouble removing certain types.

Size/Design

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 the tank or sump provides quiet areas, weirs and sufficient volume to allow adequate time for oil/water separation.

Shape

Tanks without nooks and crannies for oil to accumulate in are best. If you have an irregular shape, put the skimmer where the largest amount of oil accumulates. Consider a means of directing oil toward the skimmer such as a floating boom or baffle plate.

Location/Installation

Questions to ask about the physical location and characteristics of the tank and collection container: Does skimmed material need to be pumped from the skimmer to the container? Will skimmer access for periodic maintenance be a problem? How much mounting space is available? Are tank or container modifications required? (Total skimmer system costs may involve additional components, tank modifications and skimmer maintenance.)


All of our coolant skimmers are rugged, reliable and low maintenance. Removal capacities range from 1 to 200 gallons per hour. Browse the types of oil skimmers and oil skimming accessories in our website www.abanaki.com or contact our experts at 440-543-7400 to find the right solution for your application.


Unfamiliar with our Oil Skimming products? Go to the Skimmer Selection page to view the types of oil skimmers for every application.


Watch this video to see how to remove a higher amount of tramp oil.

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Topics: oil skimmers, belt skimmer, oil skimming, removing oil from water, belt oil skimmer, oil skimmer media, rotten egg smell, odor

The Scoop on Oil Skimmers: Understand the Basics | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Jun 25, 2020 3:39:35 PM

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. 

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Topics: oil skimmers, belt skimmer, oil skimming, removing oil from water, belt oil skimmer, oil skimmer media

Matching an Oil Skimmer to the Application – Part 5 | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on May 27, 2020 10:25:58 AM

Sometimes called pumpless groundwater remediation systems, oil skimming is the lowest cost way to remove hydrocarbon contamination from groundwater. Oil skimming alone may clean water to acceptable levels or be used as a pre-filter treatment. It is the most inexpensive way to remove LNAPLs or DNAPLs.

Recovery/Monitoring Wells

Removing oil, fuel and other hydrocarbon liquid from wells can be more cost-effective using a belt skimmer instead of a down well pump. Oil skimmers don’t have nearly the maintenance issues and can reach depths of 100 feet or more, removing product despite fluctuating water tables. Oil skimmers can handle very thick fluids effortlessly and some (Abanaki PetroXtractor) can remove sinking DNAPL’s such as coal tar and creosote from water.

Solution: The Abanaki PetroXtractor® is a dependable and cost effective means of removing oil, fuel, and other floating hydrocarbons from water where access to the fluid surface is limited. It provides efficient remediation of groundwater contaminated by oil, using existing recovery and monitoring wells.

Alternative: PetroXtractor Solar Unit

Abanaki Corporation manufactures a wide variety of oil skimmers to meet any size application. From a small coolant tank in a CNC lathe to a scale pit in a steel mill, Abanaki Corporation can supply a skimmer to do the job. We manufacture skimmers that can remove 1 gallon per hour to 200 gallons per hour. We offer turnkey systems with variety of motors, heat options, stands, and oil concentrators. Learn more about the cost-effective oil skimming solutions Abanaki offers by visiting www.abanaki.com.


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


Abanaki PetroXtractor® in action:

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Topics: oil skimmers, belt skimmer, oil skimming, belt oil skimmer, oil skimmer media

Matching an Oil Skimmer to the Application – Part 4 | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Apr 29, 2020 10:15:00 AM

The relationship between oil and water in a mixture is well-known and governed by two physical properties:

Specific Gravity

Most hydrocarbons have a lower specific gravity than water. Without agitation, oil separates from the water and floats to the surface. These oils are known as LNAPL’s, Light Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid. Oils (and other compounds) that sink in water have a higher specific gravity and are known as DNAPL’s, Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid.

Surface Tension and Affinity

Normally, oil bonds more tightly to itself and other materials than to water. This affinity, and differences in surface tension between oil and water, cause oils to adhere to a skimming medium.

When properly selected and applied, oil skimmers are highly economical solutions for separating oil from water to allow its reuse or safe disposal. However, there are certain applications that can expect optimal results. Typical applications best suited for oil skimmers encompass wastewater sumps, coolants and cutting fluids, heat treating operations, parts washers, food processing facilities, parking lots, garages, service facilities, outdoor ponds/lakes/basins, recovery/monitoring wells, remediation processes, and many more.

Parking Lots, Garages and Service Facilities

Waste oil leaks, spills and other sources must be retrieved from sumps before water can be discharged to storm or sanitary sewers.

Solution: 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 Model 4 utilizes a continuous belt and wiper to remove up to 20 gallons of oil per hour from the fluid surface.

Alternative: Tote It

Outdoor Ponds, Lakes, Basins, Etc.

Where floating oils are present, oil skimmers provide inexpensive and effective removal, solving a serious environmental problem.

Solution: The Abanaki Oil Viper tube skimmer effectively removes floating surface oils by means of a oleophilic (oil attracting) ¾” diameter continuous looped tube. The tube extends out over the surface of the tank or pit and collects the free-floating oils.

Alternative: Model 8, Model 4


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. 

Read More

Topics: oil skimmers, belt skimmer, oil skimming, belt oil skimmer, oil skimmer media

Matching an Oil Skimmer to the Application – Part 1 | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Mar 24, 2020 1:04:02 PM

There are many oil skimmer choices available but, how do you determine the best for the application? Two things should be considered at the start of the search. First, how much volume of contaminated oil requires removing? Every skimmer offers an oil removal yardstick measured in gallons per hour. Second, what are the dimensions of tank where skimmer will be operating? Some skimmers remove oil more efficiently than others based on the size of tank.   Even if there is a low volume of floating oil in an application, a smaller skimmer may not be the ideal solution if the surface area is too large. 

Wastewater Sumps

Most manufacturing or processing facilities have water systems where waste oil collects in a central tank or sump. Skimming the floating oils with little water content can reduce the cost of disposal and lower the contingent liabilities of wastewater discharge.

Solution: Model MB is designed for those applications where other skimmers do not provide adequate removal capacity. Multiple of two, three, or five belts are available. From a mere shimmer on top of water to a heavy oil slick, the Model MB performs efficiently, removing up to 200 gallons of oil per hour.

Alternative: Model 8, Model 4

Coolants and Cutting Fluids

When machine coolants become contaminated with tramp oils, four things usually occur: 1) coolant life is reduced; 2) quality of machined parts is reduced; 3) in many cases, a smoke will begin to appear in the shop, causing irritation to the workers on jobs; and 4) the fluid takes on a “rotten egg” odor. Oil skimmers that remove tramp oils solve these problems and typically pay for themselves within a few months.

Solution: The Oil Boss clings to the side of the machine tool above the sump at approximately eye level. The small SurfaceSucker™ floats in the sump and draws in the top fluid layer. The coolant is pumped to the Oil Boss, where it passes through its special coalescing media causes the oil to separate from the coolant. The oil is held in the oil containment area, until the operator opens the disposal tap and drains the oil. The filtered fluid then travels into the clean chamber where is automatically pumped back to the sump.

Alternative: Mighty Mini, Tubetastic, Mighty Disk, Lil Blue


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. 

Read More

Topics: oil skimmers, belt skimmer, oil skimming, belt oil skimmer, oil skimmer media

Tender Loving Care for Oil Skimmer | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Feb 24, 2020 9:15:00 AM

Oil skimmers are very simple pieces of equipment that can help you tackle a very serious wastewater issue. They are a low-cost and environmentally sound solution to waste oil recovery. They are by no means high-maintenance or difficult to use, but do require some routine work every now and then and a little tinkering here or there.

So how do you know when it is time to show your oil skimmer some TLC? Here are some things to look out for:

Are the wiper blades on your oil skimmer making smooth contact with the belt?

Somewhat of a common sense point but still worth mentioning. In order to successfully skim away the hydrocarbon, the wipers on the skimmer need to hit the belt perfectly. And this applies to any type or brand of skimmer. If the wiper blades are covered in goop, covered in debris, or if they are old and worn down, the skimmer will not be able to operate as intended. If you think something is amok with the way your oil skimmer is skimming, start with the wiper blades. They are an easy fix and new blades can make a world of a difference.

Is the belt riding away from the sides of the pulley?

Is the oil skimmer wobbly? Does the whole operation seem wonky? If things appear off, then they probably are. Double check to make sure that the oil skimmer is level in the tank, pit, sump, or well. If things still seem off, then see common sense point 1 about making sure the wipers are clean and not warped.

Has the belt seen better days?

Then replace it! Belts will typically last a long time, but as the great Robert Frost so poetically said, “Nothing gold can stay”. Belts will operate even past the point that they should. However, if you notice any fraying or tears, even if it is slight, it would be in your best interest if you replaced the belt. And going back to bullet point one, if your wipers are sketchy then they are going to mess your belt up.


 

All of our coolant skimmers are rugged, reliable and low maintenance. Removal capacities range from 1 to 200 gallons per hour. Browse the types of oil skimmers and oil skimming accessories in our website www.abanaki.com or contact our experts at 440-543-7400 to find the right solution for your application.


Unfamiliar with our Oil Skimming products? Go to the Skimmer Selection page to view the types of oil skimmers for every application.


Watch this video to see how to remove a higher amount of tramp oil.

Read More

Topics: oil skimmers, belt skimmer, oil skimming, removing oil from water, belt oil skimmer, oil skimmer media, rotten egg smell, odor

Seven Advantages of Using Oil Skimmers | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Jan 21, 2020 11:32:53 AM

 

Waste oil recovery is critical to any application for a multitude of reasons. Many companies try, or should be trying (tsk tsk if you’re not), to recover their used oil in order to stay in compliance with government standards and regulations. No one wants to pay a massive fine or even worse, donning the orange jump suit with silver bracelets, when complying with the law and keeping our environment clean is a simple enough task.

Additionally, recovering used oil has its monetary perks. Reclaimed hydrocarbons can be sold for profit and removing it properly can help extend the life of equipment, waste water, or coolant. All while Mother Earth smiles and the people rejoice. Everybody wins.

Here are the seven advantages of using oil skimmers.

Reduction of Disposal Costs:

The cost of disposing oil laden coolant is more expensive than the disposing of oil.

Recycling Opportunities:

In some instances, companies may be able to re-use the skimmed oil elsewhere or sell it for recycling, choosing to keep their part of the world cleaner.

Extend Coolant Life:

Having oil free coolant can also extend its usefulness and effectiveness, reducing the expense on maintenance and coolant replacement.

Esthetic Benefits:

Removing the oil from a machine coolant tank will cut down on the amount of smoke generated from the cutting tool coming into contact with oil laden  coolant thereby creating a visibly cleaner workplace.

Extend Tool Life:

Removing floating surface oils while aerating and refreshing coolant will extend tool life as well.

Avoid EPA Violations:

Many machining and metal working shops turn to aqueous parts cleaning because of limits imposed by the EPA on the discharge of emissions and wastes.

Hygienic Benefits:

Keeping coolant oxygenated and oil-free reduces the "rotten egg" odor and bacterial levels are lowered resulting in a cleaner work environment.

Oil Skimmers: Simple Solution to Serious Issue

Oil skimmers are very simple pieces of equipment that can help you tackle a very serious wastewater issue. They are a low-cost and environmentally sound solution to waste oil recovery. They are by no means high-maintenance or difficult to use, but do require some routine work every now and then and a little tinkering here or there. Bottom line is, replacing a wiper blade system or belt on an oil skimmer beats having to pay a fine to your respective government environmental agency. If you are not sure about the laws are regarding wastewater in your area, we have a handy database of environmental links indexed by location for you to use. 


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


Our newest generation of products continues to set the industry standard for performance, productivity, and pollution control for oil removal.

To learn more about the Abanaki oil skimmers, please access and view the attached video.

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Topics: oil skimmers, belt skimmer, oil skimming, removing oil from water, belt oil skimmer, oil skimmer media

How to Keep Machine Coolant from Smelling | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Dec 16, 2019 10:15:00 AM

Anyone that works with coolant knows about the potential foul stench that looms around the corner. When a machine is shut down for the weekend, oil has a chance to come to the surface of the coolant tank. Bacteria that are living in the coolant tank use up the dissolved oxygen in the coolant mix, a process that is sped up by having a layer of oil on the surface. This allows odor causing anaerobic bacteria to thrive, giving off that familiar "rotten egg" smell.

Coolant Mints

Abanaki offers a wide range of coolant maintenance products. One of these items is our Coolant Mints. These tablets are safe to handle and eliminates odors by neutralizing them, not covering them with perfumes or fragrances. The Coolant Mints contain zero formaldehyde and causes zero issues with disposal. 1 tablet per week can maintain 25 gallons of coolant! 

Coolant Skimmers or Tramp Oil Skimmers

The presence of a coolant skimmer or tramp oil skimmer in a machine shop holds many benefits. One of the benefits is to drop in “rotten egg” smell from bacteria reacting with oil on the top of coolant tanks.

Coolant skimmers or tramp oil skimmers remove tramp oil to extend the life of coolant, prevent hazardous conditions, and subsequently, get rid of the “rotten egg” smell. Depending on the applications, coolant skimmer will also bring your tool shop an improved working environment, extended tool life and reduced maintenance costs.


All of our coolant skimmers are rugged, reliable and low maintenance. Removal capacities range from 1 to 200 gallons per hour. Browse the types of oil skimmers and oil skimming accessories in our website www.abanaki.com or contact our experts at 440-543-7400 to find the right solution for your application.


Unfamiliar with our Oil Skimming products? Go to the Skimmer Selection page to view the types of oil skimmers for every application.


Watch this video to see how to remove a higher amount of tramp oil.

Read More

Topics: oil skimmers, belt skimmer, oil skimming, removing oil from water, belt oil skimmer, oil skimmer media, rotten egg smell, odor

Six Reasons to Remove Oil from Water | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Dec 11, 2019 9:30:00 AM
A crucial step many industries must take in a manufacturing process is to remove oil from water. Whether it is to comply with government standards and avoid fines or trying to cut down on disposal costs, there are a number of advantages companies enjoy when they use oil skimmers to remove oil from water.
 
 
Reasons to Remove Oil from Water

Here are six reasons why manufacturers need to remove oil from water and how Abanaki oil skimming technologies offer a cost-effective solution.

  • Gallon of used motor oil can contaminate million gallons of fresh water.
  • The U.S. generates billion gallons of waste oil each year and million gallons are not disposed properly.
  • Sources of oily wastewater include exhausted oil emulsion from machine tools, used coolants, water used in parts washing and grease from food processing, etc
  • Dumping oily wastewater into a storm sewer could lead to years in prison and/or hefty fines.
  • Hiring a licensed disposal firm to haul away and treat oily wastewater or coolant can cost larger manufacturers thousands of dollars per month!
  • Oil skimmer technology can dramatically reduce the water content of waste oil that must be disposed of or recycled.

Oil and water don’t mix,” a statement that manufacturers in a variety of industries have come to learn the hard way. Oil skimming technologies offer an environmentally safe, highly economical approach to separating oil and water prior to disposal.

 


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. 

Read More

Topics: oil skimmers, belt skimmer, oil skimming, removing oil from water, belt oil skimmer, oil skimmer media

Skimming Away Coolant Contamination with Tramp Oil Skimmers | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Nov 25, 2019 10:15:00 AM

Machine tool coolant fluid contaminated with tramp oil can cause problems. For instance, contamination reduces fluid life and deteriorates the quality of machined parts. As the problem worsens, the tramp oil accelerates bacterial growth, and the cutting fluid eventually produces a rotten-egg odor. Besides the odor, bacteria-contaminated coolant can more serious issues such as dermatitis.

The Solution: Oil Skimmers

However, there is solution. Oil skimmers remove contamination. They are inexpensive, highly dependable, and typically pay for themselves within a few months. Although designs vary, most use moving media and rely on differences in specific gravity and surface tension between oil, water, and the skimmer medium.

Different Kinds of Oil Skimmer Media

Skimmer media comes in various shapes, and the most common are belts, disks, or tubes. As the medium moves through the cutting fluid, it picks up non-emulsified oil, which subsequently enters a removal section of the skimmer. Wiper blades or pinch rollers remove oil from the medium and routes it into a container for reclamation or disposal.

More advice: Oil Skimmer Motor

Selecting the proper style oil skimmer not only controls coolant contamination but also provides a clean, safe work environment. It’s also important to make sure the skimmer motor is robust enough to handle the intended application.

Skimmer motor housings, no matter what type of skimmer, should completely enclose the wiring and be tightly secured. Loose fitting housings with weak fastening may come off unintentionally, exposing wiring and increasing the risk of electrical shock. The housing should also be well ventilated so the motor does not overheat.

Shops also need to check motor specs, making sure the system is rated for continuous service. To shave costs, some manufacturers opt for intermittent-duty motors. Using this type of motor for more than two or three hours a day generally causes overheating.

Additionally, keep in mind that skimmed oil and water inevitably get on the motor shaft. So, it is important that the motor’s seals effectively prevent unwanted fluids from migrating along the shaft and contaminating the bearings.


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. 

Read More

Topics: oil skimmers, belt skimmer, oil skimming, belt oil skimmer, oil skimmer media

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