CMS membrane technology is the effective, easy to use, and low cost commercial solution for removing free, emulsified, and dissolved  water from lubricants and oils

Impact of using a CMS membrane to take water out of oil


Removes water to safe levels

Takes out all forms of water (dissolved, emulsified, and free) and maintains extremely low moisture levels in lubricating and hydraulic oils.

Oil dehydration system works inline  — even in wind turbines or while vessels are at sea — to extend equipment and oil life and overall system reliability.

Does not strip out additives

Removes water without removing performance additives; works effectively in dehydrating oils in the presence of both fresh and salt water.

In controlled and industrial environments, CMS' perfluoropolymer membrane systems have been shown to remove 100% of free and emulsified water, reduce dissolved water to well below 100 ppm and, under certain conditions, remove dissolved air.

Membrane solution easy to implement

Simple, reliable, compact, portable, and lightweight technology with low energy usage.  Oil dehydration systems are compact enough to fit through ship hatches and down steps by one person, or to be lifted into a turbine nacelle. Once set up, the system runs with minimal oversight and management, and fewer moving parts than vacuum oil purification systems.


Solution requires low operational costs, competitive capital investment costs, and the ability to service multiple applications in rotation make this the most cost effective short and long term solution.


Oil dehydration success stories

A number of businesses across a wide variety of industries have implemented CMS membrane-based solutions to solve their problems with wet lubricating oil. Check out some real-life success stories below:

Crane Oil Dehydration Case Study

What Water Does to Lubricants and Oils

Water in lubrication oil undermines the oil’s two basic functions: enabling performance and preventing damage to machinery. Even when lubricants can continue to lubricate in the presence of water, they must remain clear of water (free, emulsified and dissolved) in order prevent loss of lubricity, component damage and degradation that will shorten the service life of gears, bearings, and hydraulic systems.

Lubricant manufacturers and lubrication specialists recognize the damaging effects of water on components through acid buildup, corrosion, spalling, hydrogen embrittlement, and biomass buildup, especially with presence of salt.

CMS technology is effective in managing water and the results of water ingress, even in challenging in environments where water is ever-present: Power plants, Paper mills, Coal conveyers, Cooling towers, Steam turbine, Wind turbines, and Marine systems.

The CMS membrane system removes water without removing or damaging performance additives.

How a membrane solution works

CMS membrane technology represents a step change in both the state of the art and value proposition to the customer. Working by pervaporation, an energy efficient combination of membrane permeation and evaporation, membranes separate two or more components by differing rates of diffusion through a thin polymer film with an evaporative phase change comparable to a simple flash step.

CMS membranes are most effective where water is the minor component and processed volumes are less than 5000 gallons per day. They can remove even small quantities of water, to provide product that is 99.999+% free of water and other components. CMS membrane modules can be used in harsh environments as they are chemically and thermally resistant, and work very well with viscous fluids (oils and lubricants). They also resist fouling and thus are easier to operate and maintain than alternative dewatering systems. The membrane is easy to clean because the material of construction is inert.

Please note that membranes are not 100% impermeable barriers: small quantities of the desired product, whether solvent or oil, will pass through the membrane. All systems are designed to capture and address these materials.

If you still have questions check out our CMS Membrane Module FAQ.

Learn more about our membranes

Read our whitepaper on Oil Dehydration

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Dissolved water shortens bearing life

Even very small amounts of dissolved water in lubricating oil can have substantial impact on bearing fatigue life, accelerating metal surface fatigue. In a detailed study, Cantley et al. investigated the effect of dissolved water in lubricating oil on the fatigue life of roller bearings. The figure at right shows an adaptation of their findings.  Bearing life can be extended over 500% (i.e. 25 years vs 5 years), if the bearing lubricant contains only 25 ppm dissolved water compared to 400 ppm. In fact, the degree of life reduction resulting from an increase of the water level from 25 to 100 ppm was much greater than the fatigue life decrease experienced by raising the water content from 100 to 400 ppm (Cantley, 1977).



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