Simple way to remove oil from water

August 5, 2005

Australian researchers say they have devised a simple tank-and-siphon system for removing oil from oily water to protect the environment.

The Extended Gravity Oil Water Separation concept is an improvement on the industry-standard American Petroleum Institute gravity separator that has been widely used for the last 60 years, say researchers at the University of New South Wales.

Although other systems work well with low effluent oil contents, they tend to be more energy intensive and incur higher costs, particularly for ongoing maintenance, says David Tolmie, who developed EGOWS with colleague Peter Stone from the University's Water Research Laboratory in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

"EGOWS can remove oil down to below 10 parts per million, requires no power and is most useful in situations that are unattended," says Tolmie. "Most of the EGOWS installations to date in Australia have been in electricity substations to eliminate the small but potentially disastrous risk of a major spill of oil to the environment."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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