Power Transmission

Oil Mist Eliminators: The Green Tech Nobody Talks About

14 April 2017

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The “green movement,” with roots that stretch back into the early 1900s when the federal government began preserving lands, has become a popular, and frequently used, phrase today.

Recurring green initiatives include the implementation of giant wind turbines and solar farms. However smaller and less obvious green steps are taken by companies every day.

As a result of governmental and Environmental Protection Agency (EPS) regulations, many businesses have begun their journey toward sustainability in order to reduce carbon emissions that contribute to the depletion of our atmosphere.

According to the EPA, the primary sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. are electricity production, transportation, industry, commercial/residential and agriculture. Since 1990, U.S. greenhouse gases have increased by about 7%.

In industrial environments, a dominant contributor producing about 21% of the country’s overall greenhouse gas emissions, high-speed rotating equipment like gas turbines, steam turbines, turbo compressors and gear boxes require the use of lubricating oil to carry out operations.

During typical high-speed, high-temperature operation, the lubricating oils become converted into very fine particles and create vapors inside of the equipment, which then needs to be vented.

Prior to new technology developments, this vapor was vented into the atmosphere, where the oily mist would settle in and contaminate the surrounding areas.

These concerning emissions led to the development of solutions like the Hilco Oil Mist Eliminator, a fumes-disposal system that eliminates the mist, while satisfying standards set by the U.S. Department of Energy, by removing 99.97% of the particles that measure 0.3 microns.

An oil mist eliminator is installed in an existing ventilation system that is found on industrial equipment. The oil mist is filtered from the fumes by employing Hilco’s De-Mister Cartridge, which uses an inside-out flow to trap the oil from the emitted stream of air and return it to the reservoir for re-use.

The filtered air can be discharged into the air without having a negative effect on the environment.

When determining the appropriate oil mist eliminator for a piece of equipment, factors such as volume and capacity of the oil mist, additional contaminants and chemicals, and device maintenance should be considered. Depending on the application, businesses can choose between three different models:

The Blower-Assisted Mist Eliminator can be used in systems where back pressure cannot be handled. The model can be installed with an air-flow restriction device to pull vacuum and is capable of maintaining the atmospheric conditions of the oil system.

The Mist Eliminator with Heat Exchange can be used in applications where oil reaches temperatures of 200° F and higher. This model helps to cool the air stream so that the oil mist becomes easier to merge and, as a result, more efficient.

The Coalescer-Only Mist Eliminator can be used in situations where users do not have to worry about the back pressure on an oil system.

Each eliminator can be designed as large as needed to meet pressure-drop requirements or implemented in a situation where an existing blower is present to help propel the flow.

Overall the mist eliminator prevents the contamination that comes along with oil mists to help facilities meet (and exceed) the existing regulations that have been put in place by the EPA.

Hilco’s line of oil mist eliminators is not a one-size-fits-all product solution. Each system can be tailored to accommodate specific application requirements.


Companies like Rolls Royce, GE, Pratt & Whitney, and Mitsubishi all apply mist eliminator technology to their gas and steam turbines because tanks need to be vented in some way to prevent a constant flow of oil vapors from releasing at the end of a pipe. Additionally, eliminators are used in reciprocating engine and compressor applications.


Employing a mist eliminator does not solely improve the quality of the environment. It can also benefit the business by creating a safer, more sanitary work setting that is free of the oil residue that tends to build up on anything in the machine’s environment, including floors and stairwells, as well as reduce fire hazards.

Businesses can also benefit from cost savings because the oil that would typically be lost in the venting process actually gets returned to the equipment for recycled use.

In conclusion, applying an oil mist eliminator to equipment operations benefits the environment and the employees—but it also informs customers of a company’s commitment to “going green” at a time when the movement is taking hold in society.

The Hilliard Corporation


100 West Fourth Street

Elmira, NY 14902


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