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Michael Hannigan
Michael Hannigan, Consultant
Category: General
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Experience:  25+ Years in the field
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Is there an oil scrubber I can use

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Is there a scrubber I can use to scrub oil out of oil contaminated water as a sub process between an Ultracept oil separator and an RO/UF membrane to produce potable water? Or is there one stop system I can use to take out all the oil (suspended plus emulsified) before I pass it through the UF/RO system for the production of 20,000-100,000 litres/day of drinking water from petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated water?

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Hello. I can assist you with your question.

Do you have any additional detail on the UF and RO system being used?

I get what you are saying about the Ultracept not affecting the emulsified hydrocarbons, but the UF should be adequate pre-treatment for the RO. But of course there are countless variables involved. The Ultracept takes a significant load off the primary system. Are you finding that the emulsified concentration after the UF is too high to effectively get the water through the membrane?

There are several options we can explore - I just wanted to get more of your thoughts to proceed.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Please note that the UF (ultrafiltration for the treatment of fresh water) unit works separate from the RO unit (reverse osmosis for the treatment of salt water). The manufacturer of the Ultracept said their unit cannot remove emulsified oil from water-it can only remove non water soluble higher molecular weight hydrocarbon compounds that float on the water. We need another sub process between the Ultracept and the UF (in case of fresh water) or the RO unit in case of salt water. That's the sub process I am searching for.
Ahh... OK. I completely understand/agree with the Ultracept. There are other methods, but this is good to keep in the loop because the specific job it does, it does very well.

What I was originally thinking is that you were using the UF treatment and then RO in series, which could work very well for what you need. While the RO isn't appropriate for for the hydrocarbon emulsion, the UF excells at it and a UF system can be used to pre-process the water before the RO so that when the RO receives it you won't end up clogging up the RO membrane. But there are many solutions, that's for sure.

Another method you can us to scrub befofore either the UF or RO or both is by employing a Dissolved Air Flotation System (DAF). The DAF is the logical "in-between step" since it simply causes the emulsified oil bo rise to the top where it is skimmed off as a froth. When the water enters the system, it pumps it into a tank, which is then pressurized with air to the point of saturation in the water. The high pressure mixture is then sent up to the flotation tank, which is not presurrize, and when it gets there, the pressure is released as it fills the frothing tank, and the bubbles created attach to the solids and bring them up to the surface, where they are skimmed away. Actually, it's pretty ingenious, but quite simple. Here's an example of how one of these would be used.

Let me know your thoughts and we can continue to discuss. I'm realize there may be many factors determining what you can and can't do. So if anything I suggest isn't feasable for your use, just let me know and we can toss it out of the idea back.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hello. Thanks for the reply. Is this process something I have to put together or is their a proprietary manufacturer I can buy from, just like the Ultracept plant. Please suggest a source, case study if any, and a test report, again if any.
Here is one source. Of course, do your due dilligence. These are sold as complete products. DAF is a specific type of system, but can take on various configurations and they are made by more than one manufacturer. Here is one to get you started... you'll see that their DAF systems in the real word are fairly common.


Please remember to rate my level of service when you are comfortable doing so. It does not affect our ability to communicate. They have all that you're asking for and more at their site. If you need anything specific on their systems, I would suggest contacting them directly. They do sell several variations, and they would be much better to tell you the differences in their own systems.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Michael Hannigan, Consultant
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 11817
Experience: 25+ Years in the field
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