Processing Magazine

Low-Cost Oil Skimmer Removes Oils and Greases from Food Processing Wastewater

February 24, 2010

The oil skimmers use the differences in specific gravity and surface tension between oil and water, allowing the belt to attract frying oils, vegetable oils, greases, and animal fats as the belt passes through the surface of the water. The simple belt-and-motor approach is proven to operate unattended and reliably for decades with little maintenance. To avoid fines from government and municipal sewer districts, food processing plants must limit the amount of oils discharged into the environment. Oils and greases entering a plant’s wastewater stream in the process line or during sanitary washdowns, must be removed continuously. The oil skimmer provides a continuously operating belt and wiper that can remove up to 40 gallons per hour of oil and grease from water and water-based solutions. Depending on the characteristics of the liquid, the oil skimmer is capable of reducing oil content to fewer than five parts-per-million in water. Another benefit of using an oil skimmer comes from the recaptured greases and oils, which can be used to manufacture other products such as pet food. The oil skimmer can be used in tanks with depths as shallow as one foot or as deep as 100 feet.