Get In Touch

Northern Ireland
Kilbegs Road
BT41 4NN

Republic of Ireland
Clonminam Industrial Estate

Why Oil-Water Separation Is Necessary?

Avoid a 20,000 fine for improper condensate management.

When it comes to compressed air systems, some components can be compared to those of cars. Just like cars need engines to function, there are essential elements in compressed air systems, such as compressors. Additionally, there are features like seatbelts in cars that, while not technically necessary for running the vehicle, are mandatory due to their common sense and legal requirements. Similarly, in compressed air systems, there are optional components that can enhance performance or efficiency, like connectivity technology. One such feature is the oil-water separator.

In countries where oil-injected compressors are used, the inclusion of oil-water separators in compressed air systems is not only a matter of common sense but also a legal requirement. These separators play a vital role in these systems. Although oil-injected compressors offer numerous benefits, they do have a minor drawback: they produce condensate containing traces of oil as a byproduct. Fortunately, oil-water separators can effectively address this issue. Using various filters and filtration media, they are able to remove oil from the water, enabling safe and proper disposal. But why should one go through the trouble of incorporating these separators? There are two primary reasons.

Oil-water separation is the right thing to do

Firstly, oil-water separation is the responsible choice. Allowing harmful substances to contaminate groundwater has severe environmental consequences, as evidenced by oil spills. Even a small amount of oil can contaminate a large volume of water; for example, a single unit of motor oil can contaminate one million units of water. This contamination not only harms plants and animals but also has detrimental effects on soil, rivers, and lakes, often necessitating expensive cleanup efforts. Therefore, the more efficiently the condensate is cleaned through oil-water separation, the better it is for everyone. The new oil-water separators from Gardner Denver set a new standard in this regard, with innovative triple-stage treatment systems capable of filtering out various types of oil from the condensate and achieving outstanding water purity as low as 5 ppm at the outlet.

The sources of hazardous waste in compressed air system are:

> Condensate;

> Used oil filter elements, desiccant, air filter elements;

> Air end/pump items;

> Gaskets, service parts, oil from servicing activities, etc.

Oil-water separation is increasingly required by law

Secondly, oil-water separation is increasingly mandated by law. Just as not every motorist wears a seatbelt despite it being the safe and responsible choice, not every business acts responsibly to protect the environment on its own. This leads to the second reason: in many countries, stringent regulations now require this type of water treatment, and non-compliance can result in significant penalties. For instance, in the UK, improper condensate management can lead to fines of up to £20,000. In Germany, the Water Resources Acts specify that a permit to discharge wastewater can only be granted if the pollutant content is minimised using state-of-the-art technologies. Currently, the acceptable residual oil content is considered to be 20mg/l, but local authorities can impose even stricter limits. Therefore, all oil-water separators from Team Air Power ensures businesses remain compliant with current and future regulations, providing a secure solution.

Ultimately, the implementation of oil-water separation benefits not only operators and businesses but also the environment.