Varnish Removal Systems


Our Varnish Removal Systems (VRS) were developed to address the need to properly remove varnish (also known as lacquer, sludge, or tar) commonly found in various lubrication and hydraulic systems. Our process utilizes either granular adsorbent media or depth media filter elements to effectively remove dissolved and suspended oil degradation products (i.e. the cause of varnish). Varnish removal is accomplished with oxidatively stable media, engineered to selectively remove only the varnish-causing contaminants without disturbing the oil's additive package.

Why be concerned about varnish?

Lubricant varnish has become a significant maintenance problem in many critical hydraulic and lubrication oil applications, such as gas turbines, paper machines and compressors. Turbine oil varnish has been a particularly high profile issue over the last decade. A very small amount of varnish that settles in a susceptible zone, such as a fuel control or IGV valve, can prevent the system from starting properly, resulting in a fail-to-start condition or in some cases a unit trip.

What can varnish do to my system?
  • Decrease the effectiveness of heat exchangers, making it more difficult to control fluid temperature.
  • Increase the wear rates of valve components, load gears, and in some cases, bearing surfaces.
  • Shorten the lubricant's life by reacting with the anti-oxidant system
  • Cause premature filter change-outs and oil flow restrictions
  • Reduce seal life and increase oil leakage

19 LPM System

19 LPM System with one slip stream housing @ 3.8 GPM for Varnish Removal, followed by one full-flow housing @ 19 LPM for Particulate Removal. Suitable for reservoirs up to 9500 litres.

40 LPM System

40 LPM System with one slip stream housing @ 7.5 LPM to accept two Varnish Removal Elements and one full-flow housing @ 40 LPM flow for Particulate Removal. Suitable for reservoirs up to 19000 litres.

Many different models to choose from:

We have single & multiple housing configurations available. We also have single housings to accept stacked ion exchange elements. In addition, we have options to accept Depth Media Cartridges, Acid Removal Cartridges such as Fuller's Earth, Activated Alumina, Selexorb, and Ion Exchange Filter Elements.

Custom Options:

NEMA 4 Standard or NEMA 7 Explosion Proof Electrical Optional Voltages: 110 / 220 Volt Single Phase 230 / 460 or 380 to 580 3-Phase Options Skid Mounted with Casters for Portability Custom Housings to Accept Depth Media Elements, Acid Neutralization Elements and other Ion Exchange Elements

Ion Exchange Elements:

Our standard elements measure approximately 7” Diameter X 32” Length and when saturated with oil, they require a special lifting mechanism included with the system. One person can easily remove and install a new element.


  • Flow Rates Range From 3 GPM to 100 GPM or Higher
  • Water Removal Achieve Overall Water Content As Low As 20 PPM In Multi-Pass By Removing Free, Emulsified, and Dissolved Water
  • Particulate Removal Achieve Particle Counts As Low As ISO 14/12/9 With High Efficiency Pleated Microglass Filter Elements Rated Beta(c)>1000 per ISO 16889
  • Entrained Air and Gas Removal Degassing via Vacuum Distillation
  • Acid Removal Can Be Equipped With Fullers Earth or Activated Alumina Cartridges To Neutralize Acid and Lower TAN
  • Varnish Removal Can Be Equipped With Ion Charged Bonding Cartridges To Remove Insoluble Varnish


  • Permanent Dispersion Media Inside Vacuum Tower - maximizes water extraction rates, eliminates the need for costly replacement of coalescer filter elements, and enables the system to operate effectively on high viscosity gear oils.
  • Variable Frequency Drive enables operator to dial in the optimal flow rate, and enhances the system overall performance during cold start-ups, on higher viscosity oils, or when a restricted inlet condition exists.
  • Claw-Style Vacuum Pump - pulls deeper vacuum, higher CFM, and requires much less maintenance than other conventional vacuum pumps.
  • Single Utility - requires 480V, 3-Phase electric service only, not a chilled water supply.
  • System View Windows - enables operator to observe system operation and performance.
  • Plugged Filter Indicator Light - positive indication when the particulate removal filter element is plugged and needs to be changed.


  • Inline Digital Particle Monitor
  • Inline Digital Moisture Indicator
  • NEMA 7 Explosion Proof Components
  • Stainless Steel Wetted Parts
  • 4-Point Lifting Lug Cage Structure

for use on

  • Hydraulic Oil
  • Turbine Oil
  • Lubrication Oil
  • Gear Oil (ISO VG 220 – ISO VG 680)
  • Transformer Oil
  • Diesel Fuel
  • Phosphate Ester (Fyrquel EHC Fluid)
  • PAO Fluid
Download Product Brochure Purchase Rent