Heavy Oil Scrubbing in the Metal Processing Industry

Man wearing a hardhat walking outside an industrial manufacturing facility

Used to remove unwanted pollutants from process fluids, scrubbing processes are usually applied to the exhaust stream from industrial treatment plants in order to ensure that the effluent released back into the atmosphere does not contain harmful particles. In the metal processing industry, for instance, oil is utilized in various forms to enable critical processes such as rolling, metal cleaning, and metal forming. Naturally, a significant amount of oil is utilized, which is then mixed into the exhaust fumes; these need to be treated and isolated for reuse or release into the environment. This is where oil scrubbing comes in.

How Oil Scrubbing Works

Some oil scrubbing process systems are specifically designed for the metal processing industry and can be used for modernizing existing systems during retrofit operations or for building new, technologically advanced, cutting-edge systems. These heavy oil scrubbers are designed to maximize the surface area of contact. The exhaust fumes are passed through this structured packing while encountering a demister. The exhaust then enters the deaeration column; this column essentially removes the air from the stream, which is released back into the atmosphere once it is sufficiently cleaned. The oil vapors then condense into hot oil.

Specialized systems are also available for high-efficiency separation. These systems allow operators to precool the exhaust to better facilitate the scrubbing process, and also provide mesh demisters to limit the particulate emissions (PM10, PM2.5). Similarly, systems designed for rolling oil recovery incorporate a four-stage distillation process that includes a flash separation section, a rectification section, a stripping section, and a reboiling section. These systems are also equipped for high-vacuum operations, tolerating pressures as low as 1-2 mm Hg.

Oil scrubbers typically make use of a scrubbing column, a deaeration column, a distilling column, and a reboiling and condensing chamber. Various industrial equipment may also be required depending on the specific application. Such equipment may include pumps, distilling equipment, PLCs with graphical interfaces, and control valves.

Oil Scrubbing Solutions From Thermal Kinetics

Serving a wide range of industries, Thermal Kinetics supplies all of the systems and equipment discussed above. They also provide equipment for absorption, evaporation, crystallization, and distillation processes. All of their systems are modular, allowing processes and components to be self-contained within an integrated steel structure.  

Thermal Kinetics can provide a full range of services for clients, including process evaluation, development and design, field services, and plant testing. In the field of effluent and exhaust treatment, they provide services and equipment for the recovery of chemicals, as well as emission control and waste stream treatment. They’re capable of meeting specific product and process requirements and can provide customized solutions for all types of industrial needs. Contact Thermal Kinetics to learn more about their heavy oil scrubbing systems, oil scrubber and distillation simulation results, and all related products and services.


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