The Oil Skimmer S 100 in use to prevent environmental damages how a Friess tube skimmer keeps the environment clean

A former casting plant in the west of Germany became the victim of vandalism after the plant was closed down. The oil-filled transformers were drained in order to get at the valuable raw materials inside. The drained oil collected in the collecting pans, which are meant to catch minor leakages. According to regulations, however, they must be able to collect the entire volume of oil contained in the transformers. Therefore, during the draining, all the oil was retained in the collecting pans.

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Oil barrier to stop the oil film


Due to the closure of the plant, the damage caused by vandalism went unnoticed for a long time. Continuous rainfall caused the collection pans to overflow, resulting in approx. 10.000 litres of transformer oil spilling into the adjacent stream.

An oil spill response system (see yellow barrier in the picture) was initially able to contain most of the spill. However, a solution had to be found quickly to remove the accumulating oil film within the area of the oil barrier and thus prevent it from spreading into the environment.

Difficult conditions

The shallow depth of the water and the impassable terrain made the use of otherwise common solutions to this type of environmental threat difficult, if not impossible. Initially, oil binding agents were used, but due to the large amount of oil, the difficult accessibility and the constant need to remove and refresh the binding agent, this was quickly judged to be impracticable.

In addition, a solution was sought that was as economical as possible, as the business had already been shut down for some time and was in the process of being wound up by an administrator. Thus, it was necessary for the administrator to find a quick, feasible and cost-effective solution to prevent further environmental damage from the leaking oil. The German Environmental Protection Agency (Umweltamt) was involved in this process.

Collection container for the skimmed oil
Mounted oil skimmer and hose along the oil boom

Solution: FRIESS Oil Skimmer S 100

After a short clarification, it was possible for FRIESS GmbH to deliver a suitable solution on site within 2 days. Despite complications during installation due to the rough terrain, it was possible to install the oil skimmer model S 100 in such a way that the oil collection tube could be routed along the oil barrier and thus remove the accumulated oil.

Oil and oily foam is removed continuously along the oil barrier

The powerful S 100 oil skimmer has an oleophilic tube to which the floating oil adheres particularly well and can then be removed and collected via a scraper. Another advantage is the flexible tube length, so that the tube could be guided along the entire length of the oil barrier (see picture). This meant that the stream and the surrounding environment could be spared from the oil, as was being removed as it was accumulating. Foam and binding agent collecting in front of the oil barrier was removed by the tube skimmer and fed into the IBC.


The Oilskimmer S 100 and all other FRIESS models were primarily conceived and designed for industrial applications. For smaller and larger environmental disasters, other technical solutions are usually used.

In this case, we were able to prevent major damage to the environment without much effort and with great effectiveness due to the suitable Situation. Therefore, the problem could be remedied quickly and cost-effectively. This shows the versatility of the FRIESS oil skimmers, especially the powerful S 100, which can be adapted to any pool shape and size, and therefore performed well in unusual terrain.