Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Recycling with buoyancy filtrations

Most industrial plants utilise heavy machinery that results in oil in the environment either through cleansing of the machine, or by-product discharge. This presents some issues regarding industrial effluents and environmental health. An industry specialist has developed a filtration device that removes oil from water, not to the degree of parts per million, but in parts per billion.
Recycling with buoyancy filtrations
Most industrial cleansing utilities process liquid purification to the parts per million (ppm) degrees. This offers extremely effective purifying qualities, yet in many cases still, the processed liquids cannot be directly reused until further processing. The "ZerOil" filtration technology developed offers exceptionally better purification (in the parts per billion) thus considerably reducing the need for further processing of liquids.

The application operates a proprietary two phases filtering media to separate disperse phase content (hydrocarbons) from the continuous phase content (water). The process therefore removes oil droplets greater in size than 0.3 microns. The separate phases allow oil droplets to "grow" through collision forces until they are large enough to become buoyant. This buoyancy brings them to the upper surface of the separator where they form a layer that is continuously skimmed out.

There are many advantages to this system that conventional systems do not necessarily offer. Some primary advantages are it's negligible power requirements, it has no moving parts, making it extremely reliable and simple to operate and a complete automation of the entire process is possible. The filter's special feature is that it never comes into contact with the oil it is cleansing. As such it cannot become clogged, furthermore, this system needs no power and considerably reduces operational and maintenance costs.

The technology is capable of processing 100m³ per hour per square metre of filter size. It can treat bilge water separation, seawater treatments (as well as desalinisation) and most types of oils (including animal fats and organic chemicals). It can also be used in the tanning industry, fuel terminals, railway yards, chemical plants, and pharmaceutical, food and mining industries, making it a truly versatile process.

Currently, the technology has several units already in operation and partners are looking for a number of agreements to promote their development.
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