Options for Removing Water in Oil
Water, water, everywhere . . . Water is ever present in the environment. Unless you live in an arid region, it is a fundamental fact of life.
Water co-exists in oil in essentially the same way it co-exists in the atmosphere. It starts off in the dissolved phase dispersed molecule-by-molecule throughout the oil. Just like water present in the air, it cannot be seen in oil, which may appear clear and bright.
However, once the saturation point is exceeded, water is typically present in the emulsified phase creating a milkiness or fog in the oil, just like moist air on a cool day. When sufficient water exists, or when the oil has adequate demulsibility, free water will collect.
Because water is typically heavier than oil, it settles below the oil, at the bottom of sumps and reservoirs.
The point at which an oil contains the maximum amount of dissolved water is termed the saturation point. The saturation point is dependent on the oilâ€™s temperature, age and additive composition.
The higher the temperature, the higher the saturation point and hence more water held in solution, in the dissolved phase.
This is the same as being able to dissolve more sugar in hot water, than in cold water. Similarly, the older the oil, the higher the level of water that can be dissolved.
This is due to polar by-products of oxidation in the oil, which act as â€œhooksâ€? holding on to the water molecules and keeping them in solution.
Likewise, highly additized oils, like crankcase oils, have a higher saturation point than lightly additized oils like turbine oils, because the additives - many of which are polar - also hold the water in solution.
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Water co-exists in oil in essentially the same way it co-exists in the atmosphere. It starts off in the dissolved phase - dispersed molecule...