In continuing with the theme of saving water in Can Washers, let’s discuss the benefits of using an oil coalescer, or as some people call them – waste oil separators.

An oil coalescer is a great way to clean and recycle process water to be reused in the washer before going to your waste water treatment system; this extends the use of the water and reduces overall water consumption. The coalescer processes and removes the oil through the use of a polypropylene filter media and an oil skimmer tube. The oil is collected and sent to an oil collection tank for disposal. Once the oil is removed from the water, the water is then routed to the clean side of the tank, see figure 1.

There are several methods in using and supplying water to the coalescer, we find that using the overflow water from the Dragout #1, Wash and Pre-Wash stages is most beneficial. We then use the cleaned water to supply the Pre-Rinse risers. By using the coalescer in this manner, you are using clean oil-free water that is pre-heated and contains diluted chemicals from the Pre-Wash and Wash stages. The coalescer then becomes an effective means to supply the Pre-Rinse risers in lieu of a fresh water connection that was common practice on many older washers.

Another common method in using coalescers is to have them run as a “closed-loop” system in that they will process water from a tank, say the Pre-Wash or Wash tank, and then return that water back to the same tank. This is an effective means to clean and recycle the water but does not reduce the overall water consumption as much as the first method mentioned.

In either case, no matter how you configure the system, oil coalescers are an effective means of cleaning and recycling water. By collecting the “spent” oil and sending it to a designated collection tank, you also reduce the overall load on your waste water treatment system.

ITS offers oil coalescing systems for both new and existing washer systems. To find out more information and how we can apply this technology to your system, send me an email at and I would be happy to discuss the specifics of your application.

Beverage Industry, Can Washers, Metal Packaging
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