Also found in: Acronyms.
oil separator[′ȯil ‚sep·ə‚rād·ər]
a device for separating lubricating oil from compressed gas or exhaust water vapor. An oil separator is an element of most gas (vapor) compression and transfer installations. A similar device, which is used in compressor plants for trapping oil and water, is called a water and oil separator.
The operation of an oil separator is based mainly on the use of the difference in the values of the inertial forces (primarily centrifugal forces) acting on drops of oil and the considerably less dense particles of their gaseous environment. Cyclone oil separators are the most common. Oil separators collect up to 70-95 percent of the liquid impurities; oil separators with metal-ceramic liners, which facilitate coalescence of the drops (formation of a mist), collect up to 99.7 percent.