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Skimming Belt

Self-adjusting Wipers Tramp Oil Outlet


KARACHI: Regional Programme Manager Plot # 39 3rd Floor, Principal House, 22nd Commercial Street, Off Khayaban-e-Ittehad, Phase-II, Extention, DHA, Karachi Tel: 021-35893341-2, Fax: 021-35893340, e-mail: LAHORE: Plot # 18, Perfect SITE, 22km Ferozpur Road, near Masjid-e-Ibrahim, Lahore Tel: 042-35273741-46 Fax: 042-35273750 e-mail: FAISALABAD: House # 371-A, Gulistan Colony, Near Millat Chowk, Faisalabad Tel: 041-8581816 Fax: 041-8581295 e-mail:,

Disclaimer: This leaflet contains information collected and provided in good faith and is based on literature review and field experience of the project team. The project accepts no liability for accuracy of information obtained from third party resources. April 2011


Programme for Industrial Sustainable Development (PISD-II) Sugar Sector

Oil Skimmer
The Problem
Generally, effluent discharged by Pakistani sugar mills contains the Oil & Grease concentrations of up to 100 - 200 mg/l; in contrast to 10 mg/l limit as defined by National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS) of Pakistan. This problem is mainly caused due to the lubricating agents that are used in various machines and vessels; and that ultimately find their way into the wastewater when these machines and vessels are washed. Apart from causing legal non-compliance directly, it also contributes in choking of drains and gutters along side bagasse already present in the sugar mills effluents. Moreover, the Oil & Grease layer in the effluent channel reduces the exposure of biodegradable components to atmosphere, resulting in higher BOD levels and automatically leading to additional cost of aeration for wastewater treatment. The Oil & Grease in the effluent reduces oxygen penetration in the wastewater and ultimately hampers the treatment efficiency of the treatment plant. This directly results in higher capital and operation & maintenance cost of treatment plant. The problem is more serious when the effluent water is used for irrigation purpose or discharged in the inland rivers where Oil & Grease chokes the soil pores and disrupts the natural drainage process.

Oil Skimmer in Sugar Industries

In most sugar industries, oil and grease pollution is mainly caused because of lubrication of chains, bearings, groove rolls etc. On an average, sugar mills consume 18 to 20 liter of lubricants and 0.3 to 0.5 kg of grease per 100 ton cane. In sugar mills, the pollution load of oil and grease is varied; it ranges from 150 to 250 kg/day. Upon installation of an oil skimmer, approximately 80 to 90 percent of previously wasted oil can be recovered. This recovered oil mixture can be reused within the sugar mill itself or it can be sold to a secondary user.

Collected Waste Oil

Oil Skimmer

Most sugar mills use rubber belt type oil skimmers. A belt of stainless steel is lowered into the liquid that needs to be treated. The belt then passes through special wiper blades, which remove the oil from the front side of the belt as it passes through.

The Objective
The objective of installation of oil skimmer in a particular industry is to decrease the quantity of oil and grease in waste water and to reduce the cost of waste water treatment plant & operation.

What is an Oil Skimmer?

Oil skimmer is used to remove oil from a liquid. In some cases, oil skimmer may be used to pre-treat a fluid. In this case, it removes as much of oil as possible before more expensive and time-consuming measures are employed.

Oily Wastewater Belt Structure

Requires minimal power lifts and separates oil from pit without the use of pump

How does it work?

Oil skimmer is an effective tool for getting oil off the top of water. It provides a never ending surface for oil to cling because of its adhesive nature. The surface is cleaned and the process is repeated on a continual basis without using any chemical. The process ensures recovery of a large amount of spilled product in a short span of time. Because of its simplistic nature, an oil skimmer is easy to repair, maintain and clean.

Application of Oil Skimmer

Oil skimmer can be used for treatment of effluent in any industry or process that releases oil as a waste product. It can be installed at sugar industries, petroleum and petrochemical industries, edible oil industries, thermal power stations, lubricant/oil manufacturing industries, soap factories, fertilizer industries, chemical industries, airports, paints, enamel and varnish manufacturing industries, glass manufacturing industries, food processing industries, steel industries, textile mills, tool rooms, CNC machine shops and locomotive industries. In case of sugar mills; it is most suitable if two oil skimmers are installed in sync - one on mill house drain and the other on final drain.

Upon recommendation of PISD, a sugar mill installed multiple oil skimmers and recovered the invested cost in just one crushing season. The recovery period of investment may vary for different mills as it depends upon the amount of oil/lubricant being used during the processes and the use of recovered oil.

References: w w w. s m b e n g i n e e r s . n e t Case Studies: CTPS Audits