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No greasy kids' stuff: Arkansas-Mississippi venture builds a better oil-water separator.

TOO MUCH 10W-30 MOTOR oil in your drinking water? A West Memphis manufacturer and a Mississippi engineering firm have a way to clean up the situation.

Newberry Tanks & Equipment Inc. of West Memphis and Gnesys Inc. of Southaven, Miss., made good on a boast that their new oil-water separation system works so well you can safely drink a 50-50 mixture of oil and water filtered through it.

The demonstration at Newberry's West Memphis facility doubled as a publicity stunt to show off the HydraSep system, produced by Newberry and designed by engineer Boyd Greene and fluid dynamics specialist Naji Nassif, president of Gnesys.

Gnesys forecasts first-year sales of $4 million for the patented equipment, which removes insoluble liquids other than oil from water as well.

"The HydraSep system is the first separator I have observed in which the 99.9 percent rate of oil and grease removal was achieved," says Mark Bradley, engineering supervisor of the Arkansas Department of Pollution Control and Ecology.

Other regulators were even more glowing with their assessment.

"It was amazing," says Kenny Hill, environmental scientist with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and Office of Pollution Control.

"I've never seen a separator that operated so well and got the oil down to such a low level so quickly. Only a few parts per million of oil were remaining in their flow-through system. I was impressed."

Expecting Big Sales

HydraSep backers believe clients will be equally impressed. They envision annual sales hitting $20 million in the not-so-distant future.

Plans call for Newberry to double the size of its 75,000-SF, 75-employee operation if orders pan out as expected. Hamilton Tanks of Columbus, Ohio, also produces HydraSep through a licensing agreement with Greene and Nassif.

The 1,000-gallon model sells for about $6,000. Special-order versions as large as 40,000 gallons can be made.

Among the early customers of the HydraSep system is a garbage truck wash-down facility, which separates grease and hydraulic oil from wash water.

A truck stop is taking care of spills from fueling with its HydraSep equipment. New federal laws have tight limits on how much oil is allowed in runoff water.

Other applications include recycling plants, landfill and hazardous-waste facilities, waste-water treatment and power plants.

Development of the product began when Newberry hired Greene to test a oil-water separator. However, that model did not perform up to expectations.

Greene and Nassif then provided a redesigned separation system that became known as HydraSep.

"After the first couple of tests, we realized that what we designed worked better than anything else on the market," Nassif says.

And a new piece of environmental technology sprang forth in West Memphis that will lead to industrial expansion if the demand matches the marketing hype.
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Title Annotation:Newberry Tanks and Equipment Inc. and Gnesys Inc.'s HydraSep system
Author:Waldon, George
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Apr 5, 1993
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