Comparison Test For the Removal of Mechanical Oil Emulsions in Water

Introduction - Oil-water emulsions, where the oil is so dispersed that the water becomes translucent is one of the most difficult industrial effluents to treat. Because the oil is partially dissolved, many filtration products and sorbents are completely ineffective. Emulsions of concern are generally mechanical or surfactant based solutions. Tests of effluent from a local company that operates a vehicle washing facility had indicated that X-TEX sorbent material works well for some emulsified oils where the emulsion is surfactant based. 

The Xextex Corporation has developed a hybrid filtration textile that is designed to provide superior performance in the removal of stubborn oil emulsions from water, and to provide the final water polish in a variety of environmental filtration systems. This new filtration textile is X-TEX-AC-100

lab X-TEX-AC-100 incorporates a bed of activated carbon embedded between two 12 ounce layers of X-TEX-B12 fabric. This synergistic meld augments the capabilities of both products allowing each to perform better than they could independently and providing a rugged textile that can be shaped, cut and contoured to fit any environmental filtration application. 

The effectiveness of activated carbon in removing both polar and non-polar organics and some inorganic metals is well established. The adsorbent properties are attributed to its large surface area, ionic interactions, hydrogen bonding and surface reactivity. These properties are greatly diminished when the carbon is fouled with oils, sediment or other organic debris. 

X-TEX lipophillic fabric, when used as a pre-filter layer for activated carbon protects it from the fouling effects of oils and sediments. The carbon bed acts as a diffusing bed for the X-TEX, preventing channeling effects as water filters through the second layer of the X-TEX fabric. Together a synergy is made which increases the performance of each filtration media greater than they would be individually. 

Environmental applications include storm drain inserts with enhanced ability to remove emulsions as well as polar organics and some metals. Filtration cartridges with a rolled layering of X-TEX-AC-100 multiply the overall effectiveness of environmental water filtration applications and final polishing. 

Method - Comparison testing for the removal of mechanical emulsified oil from water was performed using polypropylene storm drain insert filtration fabric, and X-TEX-AC-100 filtration fabric. The first sets of tests were conducted to look at the efficiency of X-TEX-AC-100 to remove mechanical oil emulsion. 
A stock of 6,600-mg/l oil (50% motor oil/diesel) and water emulsion was made mechanically by blending and shaking in individual one liter bottles. The oil water emulsion was poured through a 3inch diameter filter housing holding one sheet of the polypropylene insert fabric and one sheet of the X-TEX-AC-100, one additional liter of water was passed through each filter apparatus, the water was captured in a separatory funnel and extracted by method 1664 to determine hexane extractable oil and grease. The Stock emulsion was analyzed for ppm oil by running the water through the empty filter holder accounting for retained oil on the bottle walls and filter housing. The same process was repeated using two layers of each material, the results obtained are as shown in figure 1 below.

Figure 1

Residual Oil After

Material Type  Filtration (mg/l) Percent Oil Removal
Polypropylene 1 Layer 651 90.2
Polypropylene 2 Layer 226 96.6
X-TEX-AC 1 Layer 44.3 99.3
X-TEX-AC 2 Layer 19.1 99.7

Figure 2 illustrates the residual oil in the water after passing through each filter media.

Figure 2
Oil after filtration

Figure 3
Percent Oil removal

Conclusion - These results demonstrate that X-TEX-AC-100 removes more of the mechanical emulsified oil than the polypropylene products (currently the industry standard).


The Xextex Corporation, USA

Jerry M. Brownstein
President & CEO
1420 NW Gilman Blvd. #2227
Issaquah, WA 98027

Phone: (425) 392.3848
Fax: (425) 392.0222
Email: jbxextex@comcast.net


90 SEC

X-TEX Outperforms Polypropylene



*X-TEX does not produce
potable water.

10.5 MIN