Oil Recycling FAQs

Please see below for our Oil Recycling and Waste Oil Treatment Chemical FAQs.

If what you are looking for isn't covered, please contact us and we'll do our very best to help.

What is an emulsion?

Emulsions are simply mixtures of two "un-mixable" liquids, usually oil and water.

Typically emulsions contains three phases:

  • The Dispersed Phase - Consisting of very small uncoalesced droplets.
  • The Continuous Phase - Which keeps the droplets in suspension.
  • The Interphase - Which binds the dispersed and continuous phases together.

What do oil treatment chemicals do?

Oil Treatment chemicals are designed to separate the different phases of emulsions.

They do this by first making the emulsion unstable, then coalescing together the individual water (or oil droplets) to form three continuous phases.

The best oil treatment chemical is the one that releases from the emulsion the most free oil, water and solids and has the least Interphase.

How do I select the correct chemical?

There are two tests you can use to select the correct chemical:the "Bottle" test or the "Centrifuge" test.

The "Bottle Test"

Equipment required: Water Bath; 4 x 1L Graduated Tubes; 1ml Syringe

  • Shake the emulsion sample vigorously, fill each tube and heat to 60°C.
  • Inject 2000 ppm of a range of selected demulsifiers leaving one tube as the “Control”.
  • Shake each tube vigorously for 20 seconds in a horizontal and vertical direction and replace in the water bath at 70°C.
  • Note the amount of free water, released oil and interphase produced in each sample and compare with the BS & W obtained from a Dean and Stark analysis of the sample.

The "Centrifuge" Test

Equipment required: Centrifuge; 4 x 10ml Graduated Tubes

  • Heat the oil sample to 60°C shake vigorously and pour into each centrifuge tube.
  • Leaving one tube as the control apply one drop from a range of demulsifiers to each tube and centrifuge for 10 minutes.
  • Choose the solution which gives the best free water, solids, oil separation and least interphase.
  • The Centrifuge Test is more often used by operators who stream their waste oil emulsions and have demulsifier experience.

Alternatively, Oil Technics Ltd offer a laboratory service to advise on the selection of the correct chemical appropriate for the emulsion needing treatment - for further information, please contact us.

What's the difference between demulsifiers and reverse demulsifiers?

Demuslifiers and reverse demulsifiers are used to treat different types of oil and water emulsions:

  • Demulsifiers are used in treating water in oil emulsions (W/O)
  • Reverse demulsifiers used in treating oil in water emulsifiers (O/W).

How do I use oil treatment chemicals?

Typical treatment dosages of oil treatment chemicals vary widely.

Water-in-oil emulsions:

  • Demulsifier application rates vary from 750ppm to 3000ppm, depending upon the emulsions properties.
  • For best results, heat the emulsion above 80°C. Slowly inject the Demulsifier and mix until homogeneous.

Oil-in-water emulsions

  • Reverse demulsifier application rates vary from 10ppm to 2000ppm, depending upon the emulsions properties.
  • Treat at ambient temperatures. For best results, reverse demulsifiers should be added at a point of high turbulence to guarantee complete dispersion within the treatment tank.

In both cases, after dosing all dosing and pumping equipment should be switched off to allow phase separation to take place in a turbulence free environment.

Always refer to the product label for application advice or contact us for more information.

Are samples available?

Free laboratory size samples of all our demulsifiers and reverse demulsifiers are available on request − if you are interested in receiving these, please contact us.