One of the largest oil companies had a problem with one of their oil wells. This oil well had a very high sulphur content which made the separation of oil from sea water using hydrocyclones very difficult. The solution created a thick sludge inside the hydrocyclones that built up over time to such an extent that they could not perform the job at all, requiring an expensive replacement of the hydrocyclones to avoid bringing the entire multi-million dollar operation to a standstill.
At the time the oil company called Sonic Solutions, we hadn’t heard of a Hydrocyclone before, but after explaining the problem, material type and the contaminant we had a good idea of how we could help. They sent around 50 Hydrocyclones, all heavily contaminated and the problem was clear. We hadn’t quite expected just how difficult this greasy sludge was going to be to remove, but after a little trial and improvement we got the chemistry and cleaning process perfected, and managed to free up the parts from all the sulphur ridden oily contaminant.
The highly expensive and niche parts no longer needed replacement when soiled, saving valuable time and money, estimated in the tens of thousands of pounds. The oil company now has a way of dealing with this issue and can rely on Sonic Solutions for anything else they should encounter down the line. As always from new situations we have also gained new knowledge and techniques for future work.