Food and Beverage

Removing Oil from Water in the Food & Beverage Industry

Oil from kettles and fryers or canning/seamer applications often mixes with wash water in the food and beverage industry.


From packaged food producers to snack-food manufacturers and more, those in the food and beverage industry typically find oil – such as that from kettles and fryers or canning/seamer applications – often mixes with wash water used during production and/or cleaning. The resulting water/oil mix becomes part of the wastewater stream, complicating the wastewater treatment process by making it more expensive, more time-consuming, and less effective.

For these reasons and more, removing used oil and solids from wastewater before it is discharged is a priority and brings advantages such as:

  • Improves efficiency of wastewater treatment, resulting in cleaner wastewater and lower operational costs
  • Eliminates and/or minimizes need for supervision/attendance and maintenance
  • Improves the process for cleaning cooling water that can be reused (such as adding labels in the canning industry)
  • Increases opportunity to meet and/or exceed local, state and federal EPA wastewater disposal requirements
  • Enhances environmental responsibility through reduced waste and decreased environmental impact
  • Eliminates the need for chemicals used to treat wastewater and decreases the amount of sludge produced, also reducing the volume of solid waste removed
  • Creates new revenue through the recovery of used cooking oil that can be sold for a profit; i.e. biofuels
  • Helps avoid clogs in the wastewater treatment system and lowers maintenance associated with having to clean clogged lines


Examples of oil removal applications in the food and beverage industry, include:

  • Lift stations where oily wastewater can collect following processing and cleaning (best to remove oil before it reaches lift stations to avoid oil-induced complications)
  • Wastewater treatment plants where oily water is piped from lift stations
  • Washing facilities where equipment such as fryers and kettles are washed
  • Wastewater collection pits
  • Sewer lines
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