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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.

Case Study 1 Image 1 Case Study 1 Image 2

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