If you’ve been in the waste Industry then you’ll know what an Oil/Water separator looks like and probably have a rough idea of what it does. Even if you don’t, somebody has suggested that you need one for a particular job, then the name should serve as some kind of clue as to what they do. However, as with any piece of machinery, if you’re going to buy or hire something, then you should know how they work;
Understanding is everything
Essentially, an oil/water separator is a piece of technical/mechanical equipment that processes waste water and treats it by using a specialized filtration system. The filtration system breaks down the various elements of the waste water, some of which may be hazardous, such as oils or other toxins that could cause harm to humans, if consumed.
The various ingredients within the wastewater each have different chemical compounds which means that they can be separated using a mixture of oil skimming filters and, the laws of gravity that forces the various waste compounds based upon their weight and thickness into different chambers or compartments.
The outcome all depends on what you want
Once the components have been separated, they can be disposed of, kept or sold. It all really depends upon what your goal is. Some companies will be more interested in oil, some will want the sludge and others will want to make use of the water, even if you don’t. The water could be released into the drainage system whereby it can go through a further filtration process when it arrives at the local authority’s drainage processing plant.
Choosing the right machine for your purpose
When it comes to the machines themselves, you will find that oil/water separators come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. Each has its own set of unique characteristics and they’re employed for a variety of commercial and industrial purposes. Depending upon the industry that you are in, you may only need a basic, ‘smaller’ unit or, if you work as part of an industrial waste facility, then the chances are, you’ll need something bigger and more robust, especially if the unit is going to be placed outside.
What level of monitoring do you need?
When looking at the various machines that are available for purchase, one of the first things you may notice are their monitoring capabilities and focus of the monitoring equipment. For example;
The separator unit
If your job is to overlook the separation process, then your jobs can be made a little easier with the addition of digital analytic hardware. Some are able to provide you with ‘on the fly’, real time data information.
The filter unit
If it’s your job to ensure that the filters are working to their fullest potential, then you could rely upon the old method of removing the filter to check it, although it won’t be easy, the better machines provide similar diagnostics data that will let you know the ‘health’ of the filter and when it needs replacing.
Oil content monitoring and control
For some people, the most interesting part of the job, long gone are the days of having do manual checks, if your budget can stretch that far then you can go for a unit that can let you know the precise amount in terms of weight, percentages and purity of the filtered liquids.