Oil + Water + Solids = Sludge
Of course there are several math equations that are important to utilize when it comes to evaluating the appropriate size or style of oil water separator a certain application calls for. At Mercer we protect and hide the way we calculate and manipulate our Laws and Theories, much like the folks at Coca Cola keep their secret formula under lock and key. However there is one equation we have front and center in any conversation we have about separator design, and it's much less technical than the calculation of Reynolds numbers, equivalent diameter, oil droplet capture capabilities, or minimum rise rates. Far away from the neatly organized engineering and technical desks (where theoretical calculations about performance and functionality are being tested via sharp pencils and calculators) ,a Mercer International created formula is making the complex simple to understand in a 'boots on the ground' practical manner.
O + W + S = SLUDGE
It would be so much easier if we could simply calculate a flow rate, run some viscosity and specific gravity numbers on the types of oils present in a certain wastewater, and easily come up with a suitable product. But the fact remains that real life applications are not at all like the perfect scenarios laid out on the engineering drawing boards.
The most important consideration is the affect the solids present will have on the functionality of the oil water separator. Calculations made that kick out ideal surface area numbers and rise rates are only the first half of the evaluation process. The amount of solids present is the most important consideration; and even more important is the way a potential oil/water separator design is positioned to handle this solids loading. Even the smallest amounts of solids can present enormous maintenance issues, reduced efficiencies, and lead to drastically more expensive life-cycle costs.
Mercer International has dubbed its Compliance Master™ Oil Water Separators 'High Performance' because of the coalescing separation design improvements that were made to process out the solids as opposed to simply push them through the pack. The outright removal of the solids is the most important way to ensure the resulting effluent is not just compliant...but compliant for a prolonged period of time.
Mercer International is widely recognized as being the highest performance coalescer separator available on the market. However, high efficiency is only one part of that equation. High performance is maintaining high efficiency for long stretches between required maintenance.
Most separators designed for high efficiency require very high maintenance. Many manufactures add secondary mesh packs to help make up for a poorly designed coalescer-resulting in extremely high maintenance requirements. Conversely, separators designed for low maintenance greatly sacrifice performance, leaving the end user with compromised results. This is the 'tension' in coalescer design. Mercer International has mastered the primary coalescer design, allowing both high efficiency and low maintenance-plus the ability to customize in the field (translated: We Have Built a Better Mousetrap!). This is critical to end users that are committed to 'zero tolerance' in regard to exceeding their effluent limitations.