Case Study - How to reduce water content in industrial recovered oil and slops using a skimming system


Vikoma’s T9 disc skimming system reduced water content in slops in an API type separator in a refinery, which halved the disposal costs of the slops.  An automated system was provided with significant savings on manpower, compared to their previous skim pipe (C-pipe) solution.

Single bay API type separator in a distribution area of a specialist product refinery.

Feedstock                      - High viscosity crude oil.

Oil on separator            - Hydraulic, lube oil, diesel & crude.

Separator area              - No operator access without gas safety checks.

Classification                - Zone 1.

Problem                         - Existing skim pipe recovery method (C-pipe) collected large quantities of water in the slops.  It also required manual input to                                                        operate the skim pipe, which required operator’s access to a hazardous area.


Customer objective 1           Reduce water content of slops.

Feedback                                Slops water content significantly reduced by over 50%, reducing cost of disposal.

Customer objective 2           Skimmer to discharge recovered oil, under gravity, into existing skim pipe and discharge pipework.

Feedback                               Recovered oil discharged via a run off tray into the existing skim pipe. 

Customer objective 3           Skimmer to be capable of dealing with varying oil types and quantities.

Feedback                                Skimmer picking up varying types and quantities of oil from the separator.

Customer objective 4           Reduced manual input for health & safety as well as economic reasons.

Feedback                                Skimmer is operating automatically and no manual input is required other than occasional visual check resulting in manpower                                                     cost savings.

Customer objective 5           System to be automatic and requires only annual maintenance check.

Feedback                                System operating for many years with no manual input other than annual maintenance.


Vikoma installed a single fixed T9 skimmer module located in the API separator on a beam structure. The oil was recovered by the rotating T discs and discharged, under gravity, via a hinged run off tray into the existing skim pipe.

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