Separation tanks are widely used in the oil and gas industries where pressurized tanks separate fluids into oil, gas and water. Separators operate on the principle of density and the stratification of the three components: gas on top, oil in the middle and water on the bottom.

When mixed with water, oil appears in the form of droplets which rise to the surface. Smaller droplets may be held down by molecular or electrostatic forces. To overcome this problem, separation tanks utilize filters or diffusers. Both methods increase coalescence, improving the separation rate. Diffusers further reduce turbulence in the separation tank.

Once separation occurs, weirs prevent the oil from escaping with the water. Separation is optimized by a motorized wheel skimmer that prevents the growth of anaerobic bacteria.

Other factors, such as dirt or chemicals will prevent efficient coalescence. For example, soluble oil coolants form stable emulsions which cannot be separated until they are broken down. Chemical agents are introduced into the mixture to break down the emulsifying agent.

Separation tanks for oil/water solutions are unpressurized open top tanks that separate free oil, grease and settleable solids from water. These allow gravity to raise oil while solids settle to the bottom as a sediment layer leaving a mid-layer of wastewater. Oil is typically skimmed off the top for subsequent reprocessing or disposal. A chain and flight scraper (or similar device) and a sludge pump are used to remove the bottom layer of sediment. The middle layer of water is typically sent for further treatment.

Since 1970, Modutank Inc. has offered oil/water separation and source tanks, as well as secondary containment systems for most applications. Composed of modular steel components and fitted with various liner materials, our tanks feature rapid bolt-together assembly with hand tools. Separation tanks can be installed free-standing on level, compacted surfaces or permanently anchor-bolted to concrete footings. Modularity assures a wide range of sizes and capacities. Furthermore, our flat panel tanks can be configured in square, rectangular or special shapes for irregular sites. Many ancillaries are available.