Preventing the formation of emulsion

Pumping of thin hydrocarbon films, mixed with water, creates a “mayonnaise-like” emulsion. (This treatment limits collection capacity to 5m3/hour).

Standard system used currently

Pumping of thin hydrocarbon layers produces an emulsion (mayonnaise), which is highly viscous (350,000 centistokes). Pumps which are only capable of handling 100,000 cSt must therefore be modified and fitted with a hot water belt to make transit more fluid. This makes transfer difficult.

The emulsion produced cannot be transferred directly into storage tanks because it is too viscous. It must be heated in a hopper to 35°C to separate the hydrocarbons from the water


The collection speed is limited by the time required to heat the emulsion from ambient temperature to 35°C, while ensuring that the heat source does not exceed the oil flash point (60°C).

The emulsion treatment process therefore restricts the hydrocarbon sweeping process – regardless of the pump power – to less than 5m3 per hour.

The Efinor Sea Cleaner solution

  • Our recovery system does not create any emulsion when collecting hydrocarbons.
  • The hydrocarbons are stored in a thick, floating layer in the separator.
  • The maximum viscosity of the heavy fuel oil is 50,000 cSt; our vessels are fitted with pumps able of transferring oil with viscosity of up to 100,000cSt.

We only transfer pure hydrocarbons to supply vessels or oil tankers, with no emulsion.

Operation of our separator

Boats cleaning water surfaces

  • The integral skimmer floats in the water, with the pump suction placed in the hydrocarbon
  • Once all the hydrocarbons in the chamber have been transferred, the level sensor instantly stops the pump. The pump starts again once a new layer of hydrocarbons has been recovered.

Hydrocarbons are transferred continuously, in unlimited quantities, durin collection

Special case

If the recovered pollution is already emulsified by the environment, it cannot be transferred. if the separator is filled with emulsion, it is isolated and heated by means of keel cooling and a generator to separate the hydrocarbons from the water.

Boats cleaning water surfaces
We only transfer pure hydrocarbons

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