Q & A > Question Details
What is the best way to re-process Fuel Oil Blend Stock (FOBS) or waste that contains 20-30% water and sediments?
Any recommended third party company doing this job?
Any way to sell such material?

07/11/2018 A: keith bowers, B and B Consulting, kebowers47@gmail.com
The volume of and actual characteristics of the contaminated FOBS will heavily influence the feasible and economic best method of recovering the FOBS material. There is no 'pat method' for dealing with such 'slop', but every refiner does it.
'Gravity' will be by far the lowest cost if the oil phase is lighter than water and suitable tankage is available in which to simply let it settle. Simple 'Heater-Treater' units are widely used in oil field producing operations to de-water and remove gross sediment from produced crude. The presence of emulsions requires heat or chemicals and time to 'break' any emulsions. Simple 'API Separators' are effective and inexpensive for rapid settling and can be rented. Provisions for handling and disposal of the water and sediment phases must be developed.
Small amounts (relative to crude oil feed to the electro-static desalter) can, if not contaminated with chemicals harmful to that unit and crude unit can best be injected into the crude stream and rerefined.
01/09/2017 A: Krishna Rao Pulugurti, Retired/Consultant, pkrao2012@yahoo.com
You can try demulsifiers. First collect suitable quantity of sample. Conduct a series of tests using the demulsifiers. Identify the best effective by performance and cost demulsifier. You must use a higher temperature , say 100 Celsius. Add to the tank required quantity of demulsifier, mix thoroughly and allow to settle and drain the settled water.
31/08/2017 A: Eric Vetters, ProCorr Consulting Services, ewvetters@yahoo.com
It really depends on the nature of the contamination and the facilities you have in place. I have seen a heavy crude oil shipment that had about 10% water and a lot of sludgy type material which settled fine with just a little residence in tankage. In that case it had picked up some tank bottoms material during storage in shipping. The water was not highly emulsified and the sludge basically dissolved in the crude over time.
If the fuel oil blendstock picked up water and sediment in a similar fashion, it may not be difficult to treat. If you have a tank that you can heat to near the the boiling temperature of water, sometimes the combination of some temperature and high doses of emulsion breaker will allow the oil to be separated from the water/sediment.
In the most severe case, you can hire a centrifuge. The combination of chemicals and a centrifuge will break most emulsions. There are a number of contractors that do this for a living. The mobilization cost to bring in all the equipment can get pretty expensive, so this is not a cheap option.
Once you have broken the emulsion you can put this material back into the crude unit like you would normal slop. You don't want to put this stream into the crude unit without treating it first, though, as the emulsion could cause problems in the desalter, resulting in oil under carry and even more emulsified oil to deal with.