Friday, July 21, 2017

Oil and Water Are Not Your Friend

Is There a Rainstorm
Inside Your Compressor?
Be Legal, Be Green

Water is unavoidable in a compressed air system. Think about it: When you are compressing seven cubic feet of atmospheric air into one cubic foot inside the compressor, this cubic foot of air now contains seven times as much moisture as what existed in the atmosphere. The cubic foot of compressed air in the system is at 100 percent humidity at least 190° Fahrenheit or more, so it literally rains anytime the temperature goes below 190° F in the separators/filters/dryer. The key is how to dispose of it legally and to be conscious of our environment.

In winter conditions, a 200 CFM compressor with 70°F inlet air with 50% relative humidity makes ¾ of a gallon of condensate per hour, or 60 gallons per week in a 2-shift operation. In summer conditions, a 200 CFM compressor with 85°F inlet air with 80% relative humidity makes two gallons of condensate per hour, or 160 gallons per week in a 2-shift operation. (
Calculate how much condensate your systems)

Water condenses out of the airstream in the system, as it flows through the wet tank, pre-filter, refrigerated dryer and after-filter. These components remove approximately 95% of the moisture in the system when everything is operating properly.

The remaining water vapor that is condensed inside the compressor is not the real issue, it’s the oil that is carried along with this condensate. The compressor’s lubrication oil contaminates the water being removed and creates hazardous waste that cannot be discharged to ground or most waste removal systems.
The question then becomes: How do you deal with the oily condensate as it is collected from the drains each of these components? (For suggestions to answer this question, read the Four Ways to Deal with Compressor Condensate to Keep Your Company Legal and Green on our website)