SAS Environmental Services Blog

Key Steps to Evaluate your Oil Waste Treatment Process

Posted by Mark Zwinderman on 24-Sep-2019 10:00:00

Here at SAS Environmental Services we believe there are certain key steps you should take when evaluating how to treat your oil waste treatment process. These steps include identifying your objectives, looking after your decanter centrifuge, finding the best chemistry possible, and developing the most effective waste process. Here's a bit more information...


It is important to identify your objectives at the start of your oil waste treatment process. Understanding what you need from your waste process should be the first step to success. This could be: oil with less than 4% water, reduced waste to landfill by 50%, water clean enough for re-use, increased oil recovery, etc.               

If you are not achieving your ultimate goal it is important to evaluate your process in detail to identify where improvements can be made. If you are achieving your goals it could be beneficial to evaluate your process to assess if there is potential to improve further or achieve better-cost savings.                 

It can also be good to look at any historical records that clearly show the data and how often the needed results were achieved. You can then assess what the circumstances were when these results were achieved. 

Decanter Centrifuge

We often see decanters that have not been serviced regularly and in many cases the fact that results are less than optimum are down to basic issues with the decanter. Often the decanter has been used for different waste in the past and the settings are not optimized, this is not always difficult to solve and can make a huge difference to your results.   

Is the manufacturer manual available? If so what is the recommendation for daily maintenance for the equipment? Greasing? Lubrication? Cleaning?

It may sound like an obvious thing to have to check but we have seen this quite a few times when the scroll is running the wrong way inside the centrifuge. Again, easily fixed once spotted but will cause a whole range of issues if it is not resolved.

A scroll that is worn down or damaged will affect the size and shape of the beach inside the decanter and the movement of the solids within the equipment. Regular maintenance can detect and prevent this. Protection of the scroll through tungsten carbide protection is one option to reduce scroll damage.      

Often the people that were trained to use the decanter have moved on in the organization or left altogether. The new individuals responsible have not always been through decanter operation and maintenance training. Even 1 or 2 days of basic training can have a measurable impact on the process

Cleaning of the interior of the decanter at regular intervals will prevent blocking the equipment and keep performance levels high.

centrifugeoperator.jpgOften decanters are set once for a type of waste and left in that configuration. The waste you are treating today might be quite different from the waste that was treated when the decanter was set up. A few basic changes in the decanter settings can have a big impact on the outcome of the process.                       


If you are not using chemistry in your process it is worth considering the injection of emulsion breaking chemistry.                     

A dosing pump that is not properly serviced can inject the wrong amount of additive. This means low performance or bad economics. If it is not calibrated, you do not know how much chemical you are injecting. This is a must. The dosing pump is often overlooked and calibrating this can sometimes save 50% on the chemical cost and have a significant impact on the result of the treatment process. 


As the composition of the waste changes regularly you need to check to see if a higher or lower dose rate of chemistry might give you better results. You can do this by conducting small lab tests to check the results. If you speak to your chemical provider, they may be able to help you with guidelines on does rate changes with different types of waste streams. This simple step can lead to a small investment with big potential pay back.                        

Your waste changes and so does the best chemistry. Set aside time once a quarter or once a year to do a review. New chemistry comes on the market, waste changes. What worked last year might not be the best solution next year.                                     

Waste Process

Different types of waste should have different "play-books" to treat the waste most effectively. Develop the best approach and create check-lists.

Keeping oil rich waste separate will allow you to recover oil more efficiently. This oil has real value. Diluting it with low-oil waste makes recovery more expensive and technically challenging. If you are not already doing this, you might be throwing out some real value. 

If you recover oil but this has too many solids or too much water, you want to assess the chemical treatment possibilities available.

SAS-ES can help you in any of these steps, we can carry out a lab evaluation for you to help you evaluate the best process for the waste you are treating. This will allow you to implement the necessary changes to consistently meet your objectives. If this sounds like something you would be interested in please get in contact, we would love to hear from you!

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