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Pure Appl. Chem., 1999, Vol. 71, No. 1, pp. 95-101

Separation of Oil and Water in Oil Spill Recovery Operations

Knut Gaaseidnes and Joseph Turbeville

MilijoLab AS, Innherredsveien 10, N-7014 Trondheim, Norway

The separation of water from oil that is collected in any oil spill recovery operation is a continuing and necessary requirement during every stage of the effort. Its importance is reflected in the cost of transport and storage of large volumes of oily water, the salvage value of separated oil and the added labor costs associated with long-term recovery operations.
This paper addresses the effects of weathering and emulsion generation which increase the problems normally associated with water extraction. Separation theory, practical separation technology and recommendations for the future direction of research and development are presented.