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DROP SIZE AND HOLD-UP PROFILES IN THE SEPARATION OF CRUDE OIL - WATER DISPERSIONS

DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.1997.IntSymLiqTwoPhaseFlowTranspPhen.370
10 pages

K. Panoussopoulos
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH, Dept. of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland

S. Hartland
Department of Chemical Engineering and Industrial Chemistry, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Universitatsstrasse 6, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland

P. E. Gramme
NORSK HYDRO, Petroleum Research Laboratory, Research Centre, P.O. Box 2560, N-3901 Porsgrunn, Norway

T. Sontvedt
NORSK HYDRO, Petroleum Research Laboratory, Research Centre, P.O. Box 2560, N-3901 Porsgrunn, Norway

Abstract

In this paper the separation of crude oil - water dispersions is investigated. New tools have been developed to examine the variable behaviours of the liquid-liquid systems. A Gamma Density Profile Apparatus scans with y-rays inside an opaque mixture to obtain the concentration profiles and especially the variation with time of the sedimenting and coalescing interfaces in batch settlers. The position and the dynamic behaviour of the dense-packed region can be determined. Additionally a newly developed Drop Video Monitoring system is presented that is able to record on-line droplet sizes, also for dense-packed crude oil emulsions, and calculate their distributions. The combination of the two tools explained several effects, like rapid-, slow separation, stable emulsions. Laboratory experiments have been performed, with and without addition of chemicals, to simulate and improve the situation in offshore oil fields in which the separation of the emulsions should be accelerated.

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