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Immiscible Fluids Separation

To separate immiscible fluids like water and oil, Technofluids Group uses the so called “WaterWall” technology, for which it owns the intellectual property.

This innovative technology can be applied to all sectors in which it is necessary to separate one substance or phase dispersed in a liquid representing the continuous phase. One of its most common application sectors, for instance, is that of cooling fluids for tools used in metal processing, where unwanted tramp oil and very fine solid particles are present. Further important sectors of application are those associated with oil production and processing, where removing hydrocarbons from production waters is of vital importance.

At present, many devices and systems for the separation of a liquid phase dispersed in a main liquid phase are available, e.g.: oleophilic resins, gravity separators, flotators, skimmers, coalescence systems, M.F. and U.F. membranes. The currently known devices, however, have clear limits in that they cannot separate very small dispersed droplets – typically less than 20 microns – or are subject to rapid and problematic system performance deterioration – e.g. the sudden obstruction of the separating means. This invention aims at solving the drawbacks of the above mentioned devices, by proposing both a system/device to separate a phase dispersed in a continuous liquid phase and efficient separating means, which can also work with dispersed phases whose diameter is less than 15 microns.


The main purpose of the present invention is to realize a simple and saving device/system capable of separating large amounts of the main fluid – with high purity standards – without maintenance, thus avoiding any interruption of the separation process. Another important objective was to create a very flexible and versatile device to be applied also in existing systems that use different separation techniques. In this way it is possible to minimize investments and avoid taking up new spaces.

A further significant goal was to maximize the volumes of the treated wastes as compared to the overall dimensions of the separator, by using separation means whose operation in separating the phase dispersed in the continuous phase is particularly reliable and streamlined and by reducing the passage of the smallest dispersed phase droplets – i.e. diameter smaller than 15 microns – to a negligible level.

The “WaterWall” technology used to separate immiscible liquids is a physical technology, which exploits special superficial forces at a molecular level, that allow the continuous phase to permeate the so called "WaterWall", whereas the dispersed phase is rejected. For instance, in case of oil dispersed in water, the water effluent – after treatment – has an oil content of about one mg/L or 1 ppm, even if it has often been possible to reduce this concentration to few parts per billion (ppb).