"What is the best way to filter small amounts of oil, such as a 20-liter container? Our plant uses a specific type of lubricant in only highly critical equipment. The oil is quite expensive and must be filtered before being put into the equipment. The filtration in the machines is not suitable. Our oil supplier can provide cleaner oil but only in larger containers. Of course, there are lots of solutions for drum filtration, but what about for these smaller containers?"
Filtering your oil is important for many reasons, such as to extend the life of the oil and the machine. Just because an oil is new does not mean that it is clean. All new oils should be tested and filtered whenever necessary. However, filtration may only appear practical when the oil is filtered in larger volumes. Most oil is delivered in 55-gallon drums or stored in tanks of at least 35 gallons. Cycling oil through a filtration loop like a filter cart is generally recommended, but if the volume of oil being filtered is minimal, the feasibility of this method or other common filtration mechanisms could be diminished.
When only small volumes of oil are purchased and the oil has a higher cost or the application is critical, filtering the oil can present a unique dilemma. Alternative options may be required, such as employing a portable filtration system specifically intended for small oil volumes. These types of devices, which are widely available in the marketplace, are made primarily to filter oil in hard-to-reach places. Some systems are ultra-compact and lightweight, and can be lifted and transported by hand. Many are even customizable.
Because of their design, these systems have minimal hose lines and limited flow-rate requirements. In addition, the selected filter’s efficiency and ability to capture small particles are not sacrificed. Even with volumes of 20 liters (approximately 5.25 gallons), a filter system like this should be able to make a single-pass filtration loop in a reasonable amount of time.
While this option may result in some lubricant being lost through residual oil within the filtration loop, these systems do an adequate job of minimizing this.
If possible, you may also want to consider changing your lubricant supplier in order to find one who is willing to work with you in providing smaller volumes of filtered oil.