Oil Water Separation

Oil-water separation is the process of separating oil and suspended solids from the produced water of production facilities and from the wastewater of oil refineries, petrochemical plants, and natural-gas processing plants. Various methods exist to separate oil and water, but flotation is typically the first method in the separation process. In flotation, gas bubbles attach to oil droplets in the water to increase their rise rate. Once on the surface of the water, the oil can be skimmed off, removing a large portion of the free oil in the water. Moleaer's gas-injection technology enhances this process by delivering high volumes of nanobubbles into the water. Nanobubbles exhibit unique properties when compared to larger bubbles that make them an ideal fit for oil-water separation.

Strong Molecular Attachment

Flotation, typically the first or second step of oil-water separation, is achieved by attaching air or gas bubbles to oil molecules to increase their rise rate. Nanobubbles have a stronger surface charge than do conventional bubbles, making them ideal for attaching to oil particles. This strong bond allows for easier flotation of the oil, enhancing the efficiency of the oil-water separation process.

High Nanobubble Density

Moleaer's nanobubble generator produces over one billion nanobubbles per milliliter of water. At this volume, a significantly higher number of gas bubbles can attach to the oil. This translates to less gas needed to achieve the same attachment rate, making the separation process more effective. Additionally, nanobubbles do not float and are neutrally buoyant, which significantly reduces off-gassing. They can thus evenly disperse in solution until it is fully saturated. When enough nanobubble and oil particles are bonded, neutral buoyancy shifts to positive buoyancy, and they easily float to the surface for collection.

Surface Area

Moleaer's nanobubbles are less than 200 nanometers in diameter, offering immense surface area when compared to micro bubbles. This increase in surface area enables the nanobubbles to collide and attach themselves to colloidal-sized particulates and oil droplets. This capability increases the amount of oil and particulates at the surface, thereby improving removal rates.