This website provides public information about the OilEClear project - "Development of a safe, compact, highly efficient, economic and fully automatic electrolytic treatment system for separation of emulsified oil from wastewater of ships (bilge) and oil rigs (slop)". OilEClear was initiated by the coordinator, Westmatic i Arvika, and funded by "Research for SME" within the EU 7th Framework Programme.
The overriding goal of the SME partners is to enable ships and rigs exploring offshore for oil and gas - the primary target markets for the OilEClear system - to meet all current and expected regulations regarding oil-in-water.
Progress and results
To establish the final design requirements, further investigations have been performed on floc characterization under different scenarios to understand , assess and minimize generation of potentially harmful or explosive gases. These are to be used as a basis for design of the protective measure as a form of gas enclosure as well as sensor guards. There has been full focus on the safety aspects of the cleaning system and the design of the gas enclosure is finalized after evaluating 4 alternative concepts. The prototype of the enclosure is being manufactured for integration with the Renaren before installation on board the Stena Line vessel.
The objective of an efficient OileClear system is to separate and remove emulsions swiftly from the waste water. In this regard both accumulation and breakage of floc and further reagglomeration has been assessed. Based on this assessment different supplementary processes that will enhance the performance of the system in order to meet requirements of existing and upcoming regulations have been considered.
After evaluating different scenarios using electrocoagulation to remove oil droplets from the contaminated water, the next phase of investigation has been focusing on loaded floc separation. Loaded flocs contain not only oil but also solids in suspension, electrolysis gases and metal ions. Since the concentration of all these components in flocs is difficult to determine, the behaviour of single flocs alone is no longer of interest. Therefore further investigation has focused on the behaviour of the floc bed. For separation of the floc bed different methods have been evaluated in relation to efficiency and cost effectiveness, including foot print. The design derived from the experiments has been simulated using different boundary conditions. The most promising designs have been integrated with the electrocoagulation unit and subjected to extensive trial. During the tests valuable inputs that were received from the SMEs have been applied. The latest test results have shown consistent oil content of 1 – 5 ppm in the cleaned water down from concentration of several hundred ppm in the feed wastewater. This is a significant breakthrough in the OileClear technology.
Preliminary project progress- March 2014
With close cooperation with the SMEs, the RTDs in the project have accomplished in depth literature study and preliminary laboratory investigations that provides enhanced understanding on the characteristics of bilge and slope water and SOA treatment methods, especially application of electrolysis for separation of oil from bilge and/or slope water as a basis for the technical work in the development of the OileClear technology. Further to this, the scientific basis that has been established includes new knowledge on relevant parameters that impact on the electrochemical process, global design criteria and analytical methods for estimation of hydrocarbon index in the water to be treated by OileClear as well as potential generation of explosive and toxic gases under electrolysis of bilge water.