Edge Desalters

As a critical phase of early processing, desalting crude oil extracts salts such as sodium, calcium and magnesium that are dissolved in water within the oil. Unless these compounds are removed, they lead to the formation of hydrochloric acid that increases corrosion risks for your equipment.

Forum’s desalter/dehydrator solutions leverage the legacy Howe-Baker electrostatic separation technology – an oil and gas standard for almost 75 years. Our EDGE® product line offers reliable desalters/dehydrators that utilize an AC-type electrostatic coalescing process to efficiently treat crude oil. Extracting contaminants – water, water-soluble salts, other hydrocarbons – from the oil flow helps reduce process equipment corrosion and extra transportation costs from factors such as increased viscosity.

During electrostatic dehydration, an electrode applies a high-voltage electrical field to an oil/water mixture and excites brine droplets inside the bulk oil, forcing it to separate. As the water falls out, so do many of the undesirable salts and solids. The EDGE electrical desalting separation leads to high-quality products for the upstream and refining industries.

Benefits and Features
  • Reduced salt carryover for minimized corrosion, chemical costs, equipment fouling/foaming, maintenance costs and unplanned shutdowns
  • Decreased water carryover for lower energy costs, stabilized unit operations, increased crude throughput, minimized slop oil production and reduced waste water treatment costs
  • Reduced power consumption and chemistry optimization
  • Solid-steel rod electrodes unaffected by high oxygen concentrations (typical life of +20 years)
  • Insulators (grid hangers) with proprietary materials, ensuring highest tensile strength in the industry
  • Optional severe service entrance bushing for higher pressure/temperature operation
  • Compatible with the ForuMIX™ high-efficiency multiphase mixer
  • In accordance with industry standards and best practices (ISO certified)
  • Extensive user list with installations around the world
  • Pilot plant services


Available Designs

Forum’s unique electrostatic separation desalter/dehydrator technologies are available in several configurations that feature one, two or three electrodes, depending on power availability. These designs offer various distribution and electrode locations that are tailored to specific processing requirements and operational needs.

  • Original EDGE design
  • NU-STATIC® distillate treater/coalescer (DC)

Applications: EDGE Original

  • Lighter crudes
  • Crudes in production applications
  • Crudes with high water content

Applications: EDGE II

  • Heavy or high-viscosity oil
  • Crude oil with high solids content
  • Synthetically produced oil
  • Emulsion-sensitive feed stocks
  • Higher throughput rates in existing vessels
  • Greater flexibility in changing feedstocks

Applications: EDGE III

EDGE III combines all of the applications of the EDGE/EDGE II distribution systems into the same vessel for a highly flexible design. As properties of the crude oil change, the combined distribution systems offer optimal processing.

Applications: NU-STATIC

Processing of natural condensates, aromatics, reformer feed, virgin naphtha, distillates hydroxide, jet fuel/kerosene hydroxide, alkylate and distillates

The Forum/Howe-Baker Connection

Forum acquired the Howe-Baker product line of desalters, dehydrators and distillate treaters in 2010, including all design and technical drawings. As the owners of the original design, Forum is the only authorized equipment manufacturer. Since the 1950’s, over 500 units using the Howe-Baker technology have been installed, originally by the original Howe-Baker Engineers, and its successors in interest, Chicago Bridge & Iron, Cameron, Allied Technologies, and more recently by Forum Energy Technologies. View Our History for more information, or contact us to receive quotes or other information.

In 2010, Forum acquired the EDGE electrostatics business dating back to its development by Howe-Baker Engineers in 1995. We are the source for authentic design, supply, and support for EDGE electrostatic equipment. While we continue to pursue cutting-edge advancements in desalting technology, our success is grounded in more than 75 years of engineering excellence.

  • 2018

    Forum offers the ForuMix™ multiphase mixer, taking desalting efficiency to the next level.

  • 2015

    Forum develops EDGE III, combining EDGE/EDGE II technology in the same vessel.

  • 2012

    Forum outfits a major Gulf Coast refiner with EDGE II technology, providing exceptional results.

  • 2011

    Forum develops next-generation EDGE II electrostatic separator.

  • Forum Logo


    Forum Energy Technologies acquires Howe-Baker electrostatic separator line, including EDGE desalter products, and exclusive rights to NATCO® Dual Frequency® technologies.

  • 2005

    Cameron purchases CB&I’s entire line of electrostatic separator products including those developed by Howe-Baker.

  • 2000

    Chicago Bridge & Iron (CB&I) acquires Howe-Baker and its electrostatic separation group.

  • 1995

    Howe-Baker creates proprietary Enhanced Deep‐Grid Electrical (EDGE) electrostatic desalter.

  • 1975-1995

    Howe-Baker advances desalting technology with enhanced Tri-Grid process.

  • 1950-1975

    Howe-Baker perfects Two‐Grid electrostatic separation systems that are deployed in numerous desalter plants.

  • 1940s

    Based in Tyler, Texas, Howe-Baker Engineers develops proprietary electrostatic separation processes.