Organoclay protects an RO unit for aircraft component maker

A Minnesota aircraft component manufacturer installed a wastewater treatment system that consisted of a reverse osmosis (RO) system, preceded by an oil skimmer. A standard adsorber installed with 1,000 lb of organically modified OilSorb from Biomin Inc. helped drastically reduce its $36K in annual cleaning costs and $44K in biannual membrane replacement as well as improve up-time for the system...

FERNDALE, MI, Jan. 4, 2006 -- An aircraft component manufacturer in Minnesota installed a wastewater treatment system that consisted of a reverse osmosis (RO) system, preceded by an oil skimmer. The purpose of the RO unit was to remove salts from the water, allowing for recycling and reduced water usage. Due to the oil that remained after the skimmer, the membranes fouled frequently, resulting in cleaning costs of $36,000 per year plus process down-time. The frequent cleaning cut the four-year lifespan of the membranes to two years, resulting in an additional bi-yearly expense of $44,000 for membrane replacement.

The Solution
To eliminate this costly problem, the client worked with Biomin Inc., a Michigan specialized media company, and installed a standard adsorber filled with 1,000 lb of organically modified clay called Oilsorb™ that's manufactured by Biomin, ahead of the RO unit. This system cost $5,000 to install. The Biomin-installed adsorber reduced the oil to non-detect. Instead of cleaning the membranes every other day due to oil contamination, they're now cleaned every 30 days. The Oilsorb organoclay proved the best available technology to remove trace oils from water.

Cleaning costs have been reduced to $2,400 per year, a $33,000 yearly savings. Annual membrane replacement costs have been slashed in half, to $4,250. The Oilsorb organoclay is replaced once a year at a cost, including replacement, of $3,000. Instead of paying the yearly expense of membrane cleaning and membrane replacement cost of $44,500 the operator now pays $9,650 per year, a 78% savings.

The Company
Based in Ferndale, Mich., Biomin Inc. ( technology has helped many clients. Removing oils has helped activated carbon users to extend their service life up to 10 times. George Alther, Biomin president, will provide a short course on how "Organoclay Extends the Life of Activated Carbon" Oct. 18 at the 18th International Activated Carbon Conference, to be held in Pittsburgh on Oct 19-20, 2006.


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