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What Suparator® is

Detail of the Suparator® construction.A simple, passive, construction! No controls, no instruments, no moving parts. Just making the laws of physics work for you. That's all, but it means everything in the separation of oil from water.

The Suparator® principle is a patented solution for the removal of floating substances, like oil, from water or other aqueous media. Initially developed for oil spill recovery applications, the principle has shown to be incomparably effective in any oil/water separation application.



The advantages of the Suparator® unit.

Different from any other oil separation technology, Suparator® actively collects, concentrates and actually removes oil from the process. This 3-step mechanism, collect - concentrate - separate, offers significant advantages.

  • The oil is separated without water which means it is not a chemical waste and has a certain value. It can for instance be used as a fuel in incineration furnaces.
  • Because the separation starts when the concentration of oil is still very low, the oil concentration in the process will no longer rise to unacceptable levels and the life time of the cleaner or coolant is extended to the maximum.
  • The oil is removed very quickly, minimizing the contact time between pollution (oil) and chemistry, and avoiding different oils from mixing. That eliminates undesirable reactions between different oils and between oils and chemistry, which makes a very big difference for the life time of the medium (cleaner, coolant etc.)
  • Because the oil is removed quickly, dirt and fine particles in the oil can not settle out in the process and are removed with the oil. Fine particles, which otherwise would remain suspended in the medium, are removed from the process with the oil.

The Suparator® principle.

The Suparator® principle.The key to the Suparator® technology is the patented principle. Unique about this principle is the three-step separation mechanism; collect -- concentrate -- separate. This enables separating even the smallest traces of oil, without a drop of water, in the shortest possible time. All with a simple, passive construction.

The sketch shows a channel in cross-sectional view. The aqueous medium (blue), with oil (red), flows through this channel from left to right. A number of plates are mounted across the channel, such that the major part of the flow passes underneath (under flow) and a smaller portion passes overhead (upper flow).

  1. The upper flow passes overhead and carries along the traces of oil.
  2. Oil and oil traces are collected in the first compartment. Through the opening at the bottom, aqueous medium is sucked out from this compartment.
  3. Oil is being concentrated into a floating layer of considerable thickness. Water and chemicals separate from the oil, into the aqueous phase.
  4. The upper fraction of the oil layer runs off over the weir: pure oil is being separated.

What it looks like in practice.

An 86 unit in use.The photo to the right shows an 86 unit in use, viewed from effluent side.

  1. The upper flow passes overhead and carries along the (traces of) oil into the first compartment; oil starts to show up.
  2. The traces of oil are further collected and concentrated and start to build an oil film.
  3. The oil is concentrated into a, thick, floating layer. Water and chemicals separate from this layer into the aqueous phase below it.
  4. The upper fraction of the oil layer runs off over the weir: pure oil is being separated.
  5. The clean aqueous medium runs off and is returned to the process.

This picture very clearly shows while there is no visible oil in the front of the Suparator® unit, the oil starts showing up more and more as the medium passes through the patented Suparator® construction.

Extended use of the Suparator® principle.

Oil, grease, solids, chemicals, and what other substances found in the process, interact to form floating substances that are far from the nice, fluid, substance we think of when we say oil. A common way to deal with this is to regularly clean the installation: not just the oil separator but the washer, the cleaning bath, the pit or what ever. For Suparator® there is a more intelligent way to deal with this!

To help remove the non-oil substances, and to minimize operational and maintenance cost, a number of extensions have been developed for Suparator®. These include:

Flush headers.

Flush headers are used to wash away the material that would otherwise accumulate and cause a Suparator® unit to need cleaning. Typically flushing is done during normal operation, using small amounts of fresh water. Flush headers, mounted in crucial areas in a system "stir up" any accumulated material and cause it to be carried off with the flow. Flushing can easily be automated, practically eliminating the need for cleaning the unit.

The rake skimmer.

Some floating matter tends to build up and will not go over the oil weir. As a result it builds up in time and inhibits liquid oil from being separated as well. Manually removing the accumulated material at given times is a solution, but may not be very practical. A rake skimmer is the intelligent way to address the problem.

The rake skimmer sweeps the surface in such a way that material that otherwise would accumulate, and which would not go over the valve tops or the oil weir, is pushed towards and over the oil weir. A single rake, moving slowly and wiping the surface at the Suparator® construction does all the work.