Centrifugal Separation

Gravity alone is often not enough to separate water from oils in a reasonable amount of time. In this case, purifying systems called centrifugal separators are used to “push” the water from the turbine and other oils by means of centrifugal force. This technique bears similarities to the spin cycle on consumer laundry washers. It takes advantage of the difference in density between water and oil: The water is spun free of the less dense oil and then drained from the bottom of the separator by gravity. Compared to gravity separation, centrifugal separation requires much less residence time, allows the oil to remain in motion during the separation process, and achieves separation faster. Also, this technique can sometimes remove water from oil that has developed some affinity with the water. But it does require energy to operate.