Experimental Study of the Effect of Temperature on Demulsification

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Author(s) Sobitebobo John-west | Ezekiel Chikwere | Dulu Appah
Pages 512-522
Volume 5
Issue 9
Date September, 2015
Keywords Water In Oil Emulsion, Emulsion Stability Using Stoke’s Law of Settling Velocity, Demulsification Methods, Microwave Heating, Spider and Tornado, And Sensitivity Chart.


The major problem, when dealing with the crude oil is the formation of persistent water in the crude oil emulsion thus performed the stable emulsion. Emulsions occurred when there is water as immiscible liquids present in the crude oil. Water is normally present in crude oil reservoirs or is injected as steam to stimulate oil production. Water and oil can mix while rising through the well and when passing through valves and pumps to form in most cases relatively stable dispersions of water droplets in crude oil.This thesis investigates the stability of emulsion using crude oil sample from the Niger Delta and simulation of Stoke’s Law of settling was investigated. In this study, two crude oil samples were obtained and emulsion was prepared on a laboratory scale. Thermal method (microwave heating) was used in the demulsification of emulsion while simple spreadsheet model using Oracle Crystal Ball was used in the simulation study. The stability studies were carried out by analysing operating conditions such as stirring intensity, types of surfactant used, effect of viscosity on shear rate using varied ratio of water-in-oil emulsion. The performance of microwave heating demulsification method was compared with conventional demulsification methods such as chemical demulsifiers and gravity separation which shows that chemical demulsifier offers appreciable separation but less than effect of microwave heating while gravity settling offered no appreciable separation. For simulation study, a simple model analysis was carried out on Stoke’s Law and from the results obtained using plots of Sensitivity chart, Spider and Tornado charts, it shows that the difference in density of water and oil is the most sensitive parameter which impacts the forecast (settling velocity) more than viscosity of oil and the mean diameter of droplets in agreement with Stoke’s Law.

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