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Wastewater basin at Equinor where new SurfCleaner will be installed to remove floating pollutants

Water treatment specialist SurfCleaner supplies Norwegian energy giant Equinor

The Swedish firm SurfCleaner has delivered a full ATEX SCO 1000 system to Eqinor’s Kårstø processing plant in Nord-Rogaland, the largest of its kind in Europe. The plant plays a key role in the transport and processing of gas and condensate/light oil from major sites on the Norwegian continental shelf.

SurfCleaner system will be installed to remove floating water contaminants at Equinor’s Kårstø plant

SurfCleaner is the world’s-first skimmer hybrid technology. It is capable of highly effective separation, removal and recovery of floating water contaminants. The core principle behind the technology was developed by clinical physiologist Dr Stig Lundbäck MD PhD following his discovery of the human heart’s Dynamic Adaptive Piston Pump (DAPP) functionality.

Equinor’s refineries, processing plants and terminals transform crude oil and natural gas into everyday commodities such as petrol, diesel, heating oil and consumer-ready natural gas. Around 30 fields are connected to Kårstø via pipelines, and millions of cubic metres of gas and condensate/light oil flow into the plant every day. There, the heavier components are separated out, while the rest, which is called dry gas or sales gas, is piped onwards to the continent. Around 90 million standard cubic metres of rich gas can flow through the plant every day.

At the processing plant, wet gas (NGL—natural gas liquids) is separated from the rich gas and split into products including propane, normal butane, isobutane, naphtha and ethane. Propane is stored in two large rock chambers (caverns) with a total capacity of 90,000 tonnes, while butane, isobutane, naphtha and ethane are stored in tanks. Production of LPG, ethane and stabilised condensate/light oil results in around 500 tanker dockings per year, meaning that the Kårstø plant ranks as the world’s third largest producer of LPG. Meanwhile, dry gas is exported from Kårstø via the Europipe II pipeline to Dornum in North Germany and through the Statpipe and Norpipe pipelines to Emden.

Oil is collected from wastewater, measured and reused

SurfCleaner Founder & Chief Sustainability Officer Christina Lundbäck said the deal marks another significant breakthrough for the firm.

“We are thrilled to be expanding in the processing sector across Scandinavia,” Lundbäck said. “Despite the fact that many processing industries are trying to decrease by-production of wastewater, a vast amount of cooling water and process water still needs to be treated. Some industrial plants use their own specialised facilities to treat wastewater, such as API separators and wastewater process tanks. Others need to transport it to an off-site wastewater treatment plant. SurfCleaner provides effective technology for both situations: Skimmer Separator Hybrids SCO 1000 and SCO 8000 is a highly effective, cost-efficient additions to existing facilities, or they can be used directly onsite to skim, separate and recover all types of oil and floating pollutants from the water surface. The recycled oil is pure and ready to be reused. SurfCleaner’s control system can also be easily integrated with SCADA, providing our clients with process data and traceability.”

The news comes as SurfCleaner prepares to attend the Petroleum Refining Congress, Europe’s largest downstream event for refiners and petrochemical stakeholders, between May 13-15 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

About SurfCleaner 

SurfCleaner designs, develops and manufactures the world’s first hybrid skimmer separators for removal, separation and recovery of contaminants floating on the water surface – oil, diesel, petrol, floating sludge, and more. The SurfCleaner technology is unique; by combining variations in inflow velocity and direction with gravimetric separation, the process is very efficient – keeping pollutants from accumulating on the surface and therefore help minimising greenhouse gas emissions.

SurfCleaner makes it possible for water treatment plants to solve floating sludge problems and achieve a more effective and stable treatment process. We help refineries, industries and recycling companies to recover oil, diesel and petrol from contaminated water and significantly reduce VOC, COand methane gas emissions. SurfCleaners can also be used for swift removal of oil in ports, rivers, lakes, mines and oil pits. Future models of SurfCleaner will remove microplastics and algae in rivers, ports and coastal areas and make the oceans cleaner. 

The principle behind the technology is Stig Lundbäck’s discovery of the human heart’s Dynamic Adaptive Piston Pump (DAPP) functionality. He built on DAPP to invent and develop the SurfCleaner – but he also applied other universal laws of physics from the nature and the universe, such as gravity, equilibrium, variation in rotation velocity in the centre and the periphery, different density, and more.

This makes the SurfCleaner a truly unique machine, working in concert with the laws of nature, instead of trying to combat them. We are enhancing gravity by setting the liquid in vertical and horizontal motion inside the body of the SurfCleaner – creating a circular inflow at the top, and an outlet at the bottom – the rest is just pure physics. The SurfCleaner needs no pump, no power pack, no hydraulics, no pneumatics. That is why the operation of the SurfCleaner is so efficient and cost-effective; we just put the forces of nature to work.

Highlights and values achieved by the SurfCleaner technology:

  • Collection, separation, and discharge of the contaminant is achieved within one efficient unit – this reduces complexity, energy consumed within the process (150w at 8m3 oil separation) as well as making the operation process easy to handle. 
  • Large collection area – enables stationary or semi-stationary installations (the unit does not need to move around to achieve a high collection capacity for a large area).
  • Intelligent technology – the unit can be controlled and monitored remote, minimizing exposure to personnel in hazardous environments.
  • 24/7 operation and aggregation of data – cost efficient, and the collected data can easily be uploaded into e.g., a sustainability report.
  • The technology allows for effective collection and separation in varying conditions – e.g., with varying thickness levels of hydrocarbons, as well as floating debris.
  • Verified technology with a clear legacy – units have been in operation for more than 20 years, with minimal need for maintenance, due to only two moving parts

SCO 1000 features:

  • Lightweight, less than 30kg, easy to move and handle
  • Requires no pump, no power-pack, no hydraulics, no pneumatics
  • Low power operation, 20W in average
  • Remote control via smartphone/tablet
  • Data output over how much oil is collected over time, and electricity consumption
  • Automatic removal and separation of oil with up to 99,5% separation
  • Separate up to 1,000 liters of pure oil per hour
  • Continuous unmanned/remote operation with minimal service requirements
  • No noisy generators needed, allowing recovery in sensitive areas
  • ATEX/EX certified for Zone 0 

SCO 8000 features:

  • Automatic removal and separation of oil with up to 99,5% separation capability 
  • Capacity to collect and separate up to 8,000 liters of pure oil per hour 
  • Continuous operation: 24 h per day, 7 days a week, with minimal service requirements, even over long periods of time
  • Low power operation, 150W in average
  • Energy and cost-efficient operation with low maintenance, enabling substantial cost savings 
  • Easy handling, installation and service 
  • ATEX/EX certified for Zone 0
  • SCADA integration 
  • Data output over how much oil is collected over time, and electricity consumption

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