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BENTONITE is modified with quaternary amines, rendering it organophillic. This modified bentonite can be used in powder or granulated form (granulated in cartridge filter applications) to remove mechanically emulsified oil, grease and other sparingly soluble large chlorinated hydrocarbons from water and waste water. When used in the granulated form, the Organoclay granules are mixed with anthracite to prevent early plugging of the filter by oil and grease.

Organoclay removes mechanically emulsified oil and grease at 60% of its weight, 5 to 7 times the amount of oil that granular activated carbon will remove. Oils, greases and other large hydrocarbons blind the pores of activated carbon, reducing its effectiveness significantly. It is therefore economical for the end user of carbon, ion exchange resins and other media, to pre-polish the water with Organoclay to extend the life of the media. Operating costs can often be reduced by one half or more.


Oil and grease are commonly found in many process waters and ground water. Oil that is found in contaminated water can be classified into five areas :

(1.) Free Oil, which is oil that rises rapidly to the surface under calm conditions.

(2.) Mechanically Emulsified Oil. These are fine droplets ranging in size from microns to a few millimeters these droplets are electrostatically stabilized without influence by surfactants.

(3.) Chemically Stabilized Emulsions: surface active agents provide enhanced stability due to interaction at the oil/water interface.

(4.) Chemically Emulsified or Dissolved Oil: this includes finely divided oil droplets (5 micron diameter), benzene and phenols.

(5.) Oil-wet Solids. The oil adheres to sediment or other particulate matter in the waste water.

TYPES OF OIL FOUND IN WATER can include fats, lubricants, cutting fluids, heavy hydrocarbons such as tars, grease, crude oil, diesel oils, and light hydrocarbons such as kerosene, jet fuel and gasoline.

As environmental regulations become more and more restrictive toward release of oil into waters, methods of removal need to be employed that remove low levels of oil at high efficiency and attractive economics.



Organoclays are employed to remove mechanically emulsified oil from water at concentrations of 60 ppm or less. Applications for organoclays are cleanup of stormwater, steam condensates, landfill leachates, ground water, boiler feed water, produced water from oil production wells, bilge water, wood treating water, API oily water separators, degreasing operations, truck and heavy equipment wash, refinery and rendering operations waste water and other manufacturing process water. Two common applications are : (1) Pre-treatment for activated carbon, ion exchange resins, membranes, RO units and UF units, where the purpose of the Organoclay is to increase the life and use of those media by preventing blinding and fouling. (2) As a post-polish for oil/water separates and DAF units. With the ever tightening specs for release of oil and grease into waters, this use is becoming more prevalent.

There are further advantages achieved by placing an Organoclay media filter in front of air strippers and sand filters, KDF media and the like. Oils coat the plastic media in the air stripper, sand and so on, preventing proper functioning, a problem that is eliminated by the use of Organoclay for pre-polishing of the water. A courser grained Organoclay anthracite media can be employed to remove occasional spikes of oils and other hydrocarbon.


organoclays - what are they?

bentonite consists primarily of the clay mineral montmerillonite, which HAS ION EXCHANGE CAPACITY BETWEEN 70-90 MEQ/GRAM. By changing the nitrogen end of a quaternary amino into the surface of the clay, the clay becomes "ORGANOPHILLIC", i.e. its swelling in water is minimized. By choosing a long chain quaternary amine, such as di-mented (di-hydrogenated) and allow ammonium chloride (12-18 carbons) the clay will now swell in organic fluids such as diesel and jet fuel, gasoline, kerosene and others.

This ability has resulted in use in paints, adhesives, driving fluids (oil based drilling muds) oil based foundry sands, printing inks, etc., where they act as thickeners and binders due to their RHEOLOGICAL PROPERTIES. MECHANISM. It has also been found that when these "organoclays" are placed into water containing mechanically emulsified oil, greases, diozenes, PCB, PCP, and other large chlorinated hydrocarbons (also small ones like vinyl and methyl chloride) that the Organophillic Clays will remove those compounds by a Partitioning Process. EFFECTIVELY ADSORBS LARGE CHLORINATED HYDROCARBONS. The carbon chains from the quaternary amine, in the presence of water, will stand up to a perpendicular position from the clay platelet (Fig 1 ).

These chains will now dissolve into the oil or other hydrocarbon droplets, holding or fixing it due to coulambic (electro static, van der waal) forces. This activity takes place on the surface of the clay platelet. Activated carbon, on the other hand, is a porous material where the organics are adsorbed into the pores. Thus, if a hydrocarbon, for example, is larger than the diameter of the pores, it will simply sit on top of that pore, preventing any further adsorption. Therefore, the capacity of the carbon is used up much quicker, resulting in frequent change out of the carbon at greatly increased cost to the end user. This problem is greatly reduced by placing the Organoclay/anthracite mix in front of the activated carbon vessel, resulting in cost savings to the end user.

Bentonite clay is modified with quaternary amines, rendering it organophillic. The Organoclay granules are mixed with anthracite to prevent their early plugging by hydrocarbons, greases, and oils, when incorporated in liquid phase applications. A courser grained Organoclay/anthracite media can be employed to remove occasional spikes of hydrocarbons.


Organoclays are employed to remove mechanically emulsified oils and hydrocarbons from water at concentration levels below 60 ppm. The media can effectively treat higher levels of oils and hydrocarbons in most instances. They will also adsorb up to 60% of its own weight. In general, any time the hydrocarbon contaminants are 1 ppm or greater, modified clay cartridges will be of economic advantage when used with other adsorbents such as activated carbon. CC-100 is very effective in reducing BOC & CODís. Organics that are highly water soluble or that are quite volatile will adsorb poorly onto the Organoclay media. These media are best suited to organic contaminants which tend to be higher molecular weight, less water-soluble compounds occurring many times as emulsions. This media also removes significant quantities of heavier chlorinated organic hydrocarbons and also reduces total organic carbons (TOCís).


Pre-treatment filters and/or devices are required to remove particulates and suspended solids down to one (1) - three (3) micron porosity in order to protect and prevent the Organoclay cartridge filters from blinding and plugging prematurely, thus becoming spent. Pre-treatment clarification is performed using physical, mechanical separation methods which are supplementary and complimentary, rather than competitive, each is doing that part of the work for which it is best fitted, string would filters (standard or hydrophobic polypropylene media) are generally favored when particulate/suspended solids levels are = 100 ppm, or 0.01% by weight. Filter bags or sleeves are favored when the particulate/suspended solids levels are = 100 ppm, or 0.01% by weight, but = 400 ppm, or 00.04% by weight. Pre-treatment devices such as separators, centrifuges and settling tanks are generally recommended when particulate/suspended solids levels = 400 ppm or 0.04% by weight, or simply to improve performance, protect and reduce operating costs of down-stream equipment, filters, etc. Other pre-treatment devices such as oil/water separators and coalescers should be considered when hydrocarbon contaminant levels approach 1000 ppm and greater.


The pH of the incoming solution to be treated must be adjusted between 5 and 9 prior to full-scale treatment start-up. Solution pH<5 tends to reduce the adsorbentís ion exchange capabilities and properties, while pH>10 can cause premature plugging or unloading, thus rendering the media completely spent.


The degree of removal is a function of contact time (residence) with the media. Always design filtration systems with a minimum five (5) minute retention time (7.5 to 10 minute retention is preferred) to optimize contaminant reduction or removal.

LONGEVITY: Approximately 4,000,000 milligrams per cubic foot of media.

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