Innovative Oil Removal Filter (ORF) Cleaning: How Hydrosol Cleaned Walnut Shell Media without Caustic and Enhanced Oil Removal

At a glance

A large oil sands facility wanted to eliminate caustic and improve the cleaning process for the walnut shell media in their oil removal filter (ORF). Guardian Chemicals developed a custom process and solution to achieve superior oil removal and eliminate the use of caustic.

Key metrics

ORF Performance


This oil sands facility was using caustic to backflush and clean the walnut shell media (nutshell media) in their oil removal filter (ORF). Previous caustic cleaning did not meet expectations and the extreme pH damaged the filter media.


Guardian Chemicals laboratory testing determined the optimal chemical combination to clean the walnut shell media. A mixture of 7.5% Hydrosol and 0.9% TW Premium was found to effectively clean the media without causing damage.

A total of 20 cubes of fluid (chemical and water) was circulated in the oil removal filter for 4 hours using a chem unit. Following cleaning, the solution was flushed downstream without issue.

This solution enhanced oil removal, improving the walnut shell media performance within the oil removal filter (ORF).


Enhanced ORF Performance

Walnut Shell Media was successfully cleaned and oil removed, enhancing performance of the ORF.

Improved Oil Removal

Walnut Shell Media cleaning was improved over the previous caustic cleaning. No high/low pH cleaning required.

No Disposal Issues

After cleaning, treatment solution was flushed down stream for processing.



Before: Walnut Shell Media (Nutshell Media) in water.

Mixed with Treatment: Hydrosol and TW Premium added to solution and mixed.

After: Stratified solution showing cleaning effect of Hydrosol and TW Premium combination.



ORF Walnut Shell Media Cleaning

Fluid samples were collected before (Sample 1), 30 minutes into cleaning (Sample 2), and after cleaning was complete (Sample 3). High solids and high oil & grease values prove cleaning effect of the chemical combination.


When you’re ready, contact an ORF cleaning expert to find a solution for you.

HYDROSOL is a low foaming, concentrated blend of dispersants and surfactants in an aromatic solvent system.  It has been specifically formulated using an innovative surfactant blend for enhanced deposit penetration and surface wetting. These properties allow it to quickly and effectively remove crude oil, heavy oil, and bitumen from a wide variety of surfaces. HYDROSOL is also effective on asphaltenes and paraffin deposits.
TW PREMIUM is a highly concentrated, non-caustic, powdered alkaline detergent specially formulated for use in hot tanks and mechanical recirculating spray wash systems and processes for the cleaning of aluminum parts. TW PREMIUM features an innovative blend of high performance surfactants, alkalinity boosters, water conditioning agents and corrosion inhibitors.