Marine Purifiers: Separators Or Clarifiers

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Marine vessels, like any other transportation vehicle, are made of a number of equipment, arranged to offer optimum performance.
Purifiers are a class of equipment that eliminates contamination and other forms of debris from the fuel oil onboard.
Marine engines must ensure efficient combustion. This is done by using high quality of fuel oil.
However, the heavy oil used for this purpose is not in the purest form. Instead, it is made to go through a series of equipment, where it is purified before reaching the engine.
Separators and clarifiers are important purifying equipment used to purify the oil, filtering out all sorts of dissolve impurities.
Differences between clarifiers and separators
While the basic function of both these equipment is same, there are some mechanical and functional differences between the two.
Function: As such, clarifiers are used in the fuel line just after the separators. Separators remove dissolved water, sludge and other impurities form the fuel oil. However, a clarifier will remove any solid particles which have not been filtered out by the separator. In this manner, clarifier works more as a backup system, to ensure highest quality fuel gets delivered to the engine.
Dam or Sealing Ring: The interface between oil and water is separated by a dam ring in the separators. The diameter and position of this ring can influence the efficiency of the process.
Similarly, the diameter of holes in the ring can also affect the clarification process, depending on whether the interface is formed towards periphery or inwards.
In contrast, clarifiers have a sealing ring which helps seal the water outlet. This prevents unintentional discharge of impurities and water from the bowl. Furthermore, these discs don’t usually have holes; a separate disc without holes is fitted underneath, in case holes are present.
Filling Requirement: The separator must be filled with water, in order to generate a seal. This will prevent oil leaving from the water outlet. On the other hand, clarifiers don’t have to be filled up completely.
Lubricant oil: Separators can be used to filter lube oil too. However, clarifiers can only be used if the oil is completely devoid of moisture.
While these differences may seem small, proper use of purifiers and other equipment is necessary to prevent hazards onboard.
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