Purification of oil. Mechanical impurities in oil are removed by an electric field. This approach is not entirely new, but it is not widely used at this time due to insufficient studies of the processes occurring during the interaction of the electric field and oil.
Electro-cleaning sediments suspended particles under the influence of an electrostatic field, which appears between the electrode and the particles. Particles acquire a charge as a result of electrical charging. At the same time a number of phenomena is observed in the space between the electrodes: a partial electrical leakage, recharge of some particles and electric liquid convection, etc.
The particles are influenced by hydraulic resistance forces and electrostatic forces causing the particles to precipitate on the electrode.
The main advantages of electric cleaning of oil are:
- Compact size of equipment, compared to settling tanks;
- No moving parts, compared to the centrifuge;
- Stable capacity and hydraulic resistance;
- Automatic performance.
However, there are several other issues. In particular, this process is not fully studied, especially the electrodes coated with an insulating material, which can recharge particles and lose them from the cleaning process. As a result, the device loses its effectiveness. Also, electro-cleaning devices are complex in design and require highly qualified operators. These aspects prevent the widespread use of electro-cleaning units in oil purification.