Floaters are devices used in wastewater treatment to remove oils and other floating substances from the surface of the liquid. They work on the principle of buoyancy, where denser substances are at the bottom of the tank and lighter substances are at the top. Floaters can be made of materials such as rubber or polymers, and can be used in conjunction with other effluent treatment equipment, such as decanters and filters. In addition, there are two types of flotation, one by dissolved air and the other by dispersed air, namely:
Dissolved air flotation is a wastewater treatment process in which air is dissolved in the wastewater and then released to form bubbles. The bubbles cling to floating substances such as oil, grease and other hydrocarbons and bring them to the surface of the tank, where they are removed. This process is generally used to remove light hydrocarbons or other floating substances that are soluble in water.
Dispersed air flotation is similar to dissolved air flotation, but instead of dissolving the air in the effluent, it is introduced into the tank as a mixture of air and water. This process is generally used to remove denser hydrocarbons or other floating substances that are not water soluble.
Both processes are effective in removing floating substances from effluents, but which process to use will depend on the type and level of effluent contamination, as well as regulatory and treatment requirements.
The effluent treatment process using floaters works as follows:
- The effluent is pumped into a flotation tank, where it is mixed with air or gas to create bubbles.
- The bubbles cling to floating substances such as oil, grease and other hydrocarbons and bring them to the surface of the tank.
- Floating substances accumulate on the surface of the tank, forming a layer that is removed regularly.
- The treated effluent is then drained to the next treatment stage, such as decanting or filtration.
It is important to note that there are different types of floaters, each suitable for different types of effluents and levels of contamination. Some floaters are specifically designed to remove oil, while others are designed to remove specific chemicals. Furthermore, they can be used in conjunction with other treatments, such as biological and chemical treatments, to remove other impurities from the effluent.
The benefits of using floaters in wastewater treatment include:
- Efficient removal of floating substances: Floaters are very effective in removing oils, greases and other floating substances from the effluent, which is important to avoid environmental and public health problems.
- Low Cost: Floaters are relatively inexpensive to purchase and operate compared to other wastewater treatment methods.
- Easy maintenance: Floaters are simple to maintain and operate, which helps reduce operating costs.
- Wide Application: Floaters can be used in a variety of industries, including oil and gas, food and beverage, and chemical industries.
Some of the main applications of floaters include:
- Oil and gas industries: Floaters are used to remove oil and other floating substances from effluents from oil and gas platforms and refining facilities.
- Food and Beverage Industries: Floaters are used to remove grease and other contaminants from food and beverage industry effluents.
- Chemical industries: Floaters are used to remove specific chemicals from chemical industry effluents, such as heavy metals and volatile organic compounds.
- Water Treatment Plants: Floaters are used to remove oil and other floating substances from effluents from water treatment plants before they are returned to the environment.