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Importance of Oil –Water Separation

It is quite common for water and oil to get mixed up in mechanical or industrial processes. This can happen in various ways. Some cases are unavoidable, such as when cleaning the garage floor or washing down an oily engine. Yet, other causes such as oil leaks or accumulation of water in your fuel tank can be prevented.

Since oil is not soluble in water, the mixture forms a suspension. Once the suspension gets into another medium such as the soil, rivers and large water bodies, it becomes more difficult to separate. Likewise, if the oil-water suspension gets into your engine, it can cause irreparable damage.

There are several methods used to separate oil and water including using oil spill kits, centrifugation, distillation and industrial filtration. Read on if you are interested in the separation of oil-water mixtures in various settings. In this article, we outline three main areas where it is beneficial to separate the oil-water suspensions. These are

  • Environmental conservation
  • Oil and Water Recycling Operations
  • Engine Maintenance


Importance of Oil –Water Separation

1.     Environmental Conservation

Elimination of oil from wastewater is a key element of environmental conservation. Below is an elaboration of how oil spills can affect water bodies and the characteristics of the soil.


Water Body Contamination

When wastewater with oil in it is disposed into ground or surface water, it finds its way to ponds, lakes and the ocean. Oil films can prevent coat and suffocate marine life by preventing oxygen from mixing well with the water. Oily water creates an unnatural environment for the aquatic organisms and threatens their survival.


Soil Contamination

When oil-water mixtures get into the soil, they can cause lasting damage. Oil reduces the aeration and water infiltration capacity of the soil. This prevents plants and other organisms in the soil from getting the water and air they need for survival. Also, the oil can stay in the soil for years, effectively limiting the long term agricultural productivity of the land.


2.     Oil and Water Recycling

Conservation of resources is an essential practice that saves a lot of money, especially for large industries. Recycling water and oil significantly reduce utility bills and production costs. Separating oil from the water allows you to reuse both fluids in varying capacity.

In the food processing industry, waste edible oils can be extracted from wastewater. This waste edible oil is ideal for use as raw materials in the biofuel and tyre manufacturing industries. Also, the water obtained after the separation can be used for various purposes such as cleaning or circulation in cooling systems.


3.     Engine Maintenance

Many modern diesel engines are equipped with fuel-water separators to prevent free water molecules from reaching the engine. Excess water in your fuel can compromise the performance of your engine and can cause its failure.

The presence of water in your fuel system also causes other challenges such as rust and the growth of bacteria. These introduce corrosive elements into your fuel system that can cause lasting damage if left unchecked. Rust particles can flow in your fuel and damage the internal components of your engine through gradual abrasion.

The advantages of separating oil-water suspensions are immense. Whether you operate a major factory or a small production unit, you should invest in the appropriate oil-water separation systems. Oil-water separation not only saves you money but also helps to conserve the environment for future generations.  At interfil, we provide the best in a range of oil centrifuges, filtration systems and oil spill kits at affordable prices. Our friendly staff is always available to listen and respond to your requests.

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