Treatment of Sludges Containing Oil and Water

Sludges that contain oil and water are generated through a variety of activities and processes on board ships, including sedimentation in tanks, tank dewatering processes, and leaks or cleaning cycles in backflush filters and separators for treating fuel oil and lube oil. The trend for combusting high density fuel oils of higher viscosity, as well as the use of residues as a fuel for medium-speed diesel engines, also increases the production of sludge from both fuel oil and lube oil.

Emergence of sludges containing oil and water

The build up of these oil and water-containing sludges represents a considerable disposal problem. Options that have traditionally been employed to deal with them include incinerating the sludge on board, or disposing of it on land. However, incineration is an expensive process because the sludge has to be dewatered by evaporators and then mixed with precious diesel oil to generate a combustible fuel. Disposal on land is also associated with considerable costs, as the sludge has to be transported to a waste disposal site, which in turn has to be paid for. 

Sludge volume reduction up to 95 percent with GEA SludgeMaster

GEA’s SludgeMaster system solves this disposal issue. The system uses a specially developed separator for dewatering and oil recovery processes, which reduces the volume of sludge produced by up to 95 percent. This significantly reduces subsequent disposal costs. At the same time, valuable fuel oil is recovered, and the bilgewater system is cleared of oil residues, which helps to protect marine ecosystems.