Before wastewater can be released into sewers or the ocean, hazardous waste and contaminants (such as various types of oil) must be removed from it. This process of removing such contaminants is called oil water separation. This process cleans out not only more solidified oils that rise to the top of the water but also smaller oil particles that are less visible and may be dispersed throughout the body of water.
Although there are several types of oil water separators North Carolina, this filtration of oils is the basic purpose of all of them. A shipboard oily water separator is used to keep toxic waste out of the ocean. In the oil and gas industry, API oil-water separators are used to treat wastewater. Florentine flasks are used to draw out essential oil fragrances from water.
Many different methods are used to achieve oil water separation. Gravity plate separators use plates to allow oil to consolidate as it moves through the separating chamber. The bioremediation process is one that incorporates microorganisms to separate pollutants out of water. Flotation is a process of oil water separation utilizing bubbles of gas. Electrochemical emulsification is yet another method that is used.
The kinds of contaminants in wastewater span far beyond simple oils that may most readily come to mind. There are microbial organisms found in many bodies of water. Bleach, bacteria, and metals are also common contaminants that must be removed. Human and animal drugs can end up in wastewater, and there is even the possibility of radiation finding its way into wastewater. It is toxic pollution such as this that makes oil water separation so vital.
Without oil water separators and the business that put them to use to clean up wastewater, pollution and sickness would more easily climb and have a negative effect on both public and environmental health.