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IBP1189_12 CYCLONIC VALVE TEST – PRELIMINAR RESULTS Andre Sampaio Monteiro1, Carlos Alberto C. Moraes2, Luiz Philipe M.

Marins3, Fabrício Soares4, Dennis Oliveira5, Fábio Soares de Lima6, Vinícius Airão7, Tijmen Ton8

Copyright 2012, Brazilian Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Institute - IBP
This Technical Paper was prepared for presentation at the Rio Oi & Gas Expo and Conference 2012, held between September, 1720, 2012, in Rio de Janeiro. This Technical Paper was selected for presentation by the Technical Committee of the event according to the information contained in the final paper submitted by the author(s). The organizers are not supposed to translate or correct the submitted papers. The material as it is presented, does not necessarily represent Brazilian Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Institute’ opinion, or that of its Members or Representatives. Authors consent to the publication of this Technical Paper in the Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012 Proceedings.

‘ Abstract
For many years, the petroleum industry has been developing a valve that input less shear to the flow for a given required pressure drop and this can be done using the cyclonic concept. This paper presents a comparison between the performances of a cyclonic valve (low shear) and a conventional globe valve. The aim of this work is to show the advantages of using a cyclonic low shear valve instead of the commonly used in the primary separation process by Petrobras. Tests were performed at Petrobras Experimental Center (NUEX) in Aracajú/SE varying some parameters: water cut; pressure loss (from 4 kgf/cm2 to 10 kgf/cm2); flow rates (30 m3/h and 45 m3/h). Results indicates a better performance of the cyclonic valve, if compared with a conventional one, and also that the difference of the performance, is a function of several parameters (emulsion stability, water content free, and oil properties). The cyclonic valve tested can be applied as a choke valve, as a valve between separation stages (for pressure drop), or for controlling the level of vessels. We must emphasize the importance to avoid the high shear imposed by conventional valves, because once the emulsion is created, it becomes more difficult to break it. New tests are being planned to occur in 2012, but Petrobras is also analyzing real cases where the applications could increase the primary process efficiency. In the same way, the future installations are also being designed considering the cyclonic valve usage.

1. Introduction
The emulsion generation has been a significant problem in some production fields due to the impacts that its has on the efficiency of the oil/water treatment. For many years, the petroleum industry has been developing a valve that input less shear to the flow for a given pressure drop required and this can be done using the cyclonic concept. The geometry of the valve is modified in order to induce a rotational flow pattern downstream the valve, avoiding turbulence zones and increasing droplets coalescence in some conditions. This paper presents a comparison between the performances of a cyclonic valve (low shear) and a conventional globe valve. The aim of this work is to show the advantages of using a cyclonic low shear valve instead of the commonly used in the primary separation process by Petrobras. Initial tests with acrylic cyclonic valves prototypes, using only water, done at Petrobras Researcher Center (CENPES) for concept validation (Figure 1), and as a result a patent has been generated. For more details see Duarte

______________________________ 1 Master, Mechanical Engineer - PETROBRAS 2 Ph.D., Civil Engineer – PETROBRAS 3 Master, Mechanical Engineer - PETROBRAS 4 Chemistry – PETROBRAS 5 Electronic Engineer – PETROBRAS 6 Master, Mechanical Engineer – PETROBRAS 7 Electronic Engineer – PETROBRAS 8 Ph.D., Mechanical Engineer – TWISTER

Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012 (2008). In the following, a small steel prototype was built and tested at Itajubá University (UNIFEI), giving excellent results (Figure 2). Monteiro et al. (2010) presented, and discuss some of them, giving a lot of emphasizes on the flow pattern investigation inside the valve and also explaining in more details the concept of the valve.

Figure 1. Cyclonic valve used for concept validation at Petrobras Researcher Center (CENPES)

Figure 2 – Prototype used for performance tests at Itajuba University. In adition to continue the study of low shear valve, Petrobras has contacted an engineering company. This company dsigned a low shear valve prototype and expressed interest to test this new valve in a Petrobras site test. The company mentined showed a concept of low shear valve based on an axial control valve, where the only change was the replacement of the same house. The company performed numerical simulations and the results indicate a great advantage instead use a conventional axial valve. As shown in Figure 3, in conventional axial valves the flow is governed by radial clearance holes present in the cage. The modification made consist on input an angle in the holes during the fabrication of the valve in order to induce a rotational flow to the fluid passing through the valve.

2. Valve Description
In a conventional valve, the entire pressure differential is lost in the orifice restriction and in regions of intense shear (hence causing breakage of drops). In the cyclonic valve the pressure drop in the orifice restriction is smaller, and due to that some amount of energy is lost for generating the vortex downstream of the valve, which also contributes to the cyclonic effect, promoting the coalescence of the droplets. The valve proposed would serve both as a choke valve, as valves for pressure drop and vessels level controllers.

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Figure 3 – Globe conventional valve flow (left); Axial and cyclonic valve flow patterns (right).

2.1. Cyclonic Valve The cyclonic valve is an axial control valve 4 "- 150 lbs, RF flanges and without actuators. The table below shows some characteristics of the valve: Table 1. Cyclonic Valve Characteristics

Service Maximum Allowable Pressure Maximum Allowable Temperature Internal Diameter (ID) Valve Length
Maximum flow-rate with full open(@ 6bar ΔP) In Figure 4, is showed the valve been transported to Aracajú/SE.

Oil/Water 18 bar-g 80˚C 50.8mm 932mm
60 m3/h

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Figure 4 – Cyclonic Valve been transported to Aracajú. 2.2. Conventional Globe Valve The valve selected to be compared with the cyclonic valve had the geometry similar to the illustrated in Figure bellow (left side). But, in order to achieve the same flow-rate coefficient, the cage was modified and an insert-plug device has been added (Figure 5 – right side). The flow-rate coefficient (Cv) curve has been obtained from tests using only water and compared with the values of the cyclonic valve.

Figure 5 – The original valve selected for been compared (left); and the same valve after the modification made to adjust the flow-rate coefficient (Cv). Figure 6 shows some photos of the internals parts of the conventional valve, with the modification made to adjust the flow-rate coefficient.

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Figure 6 – Pictures of the modifications made on the conventional valve.

3. Experimental Descriptions
3.1. Test Site All the tests have been conducted at Petrobras Experimental Site (NUEX), located in Aracajú/SE - Brazil. Due to the high flow-rate (up to 60 m3/h) and the option for operate the test with progressive cavity pump; a pump skid with flow meter was installed. 3.2. Fluids For all the conditions tested, the fluids used were salt water and an oil blend in order to achieve a value of 20 cP of oil viscosity. Additionally, the test was carried in a closed loop, but monitoring the fluids contamination (oil in water and vice-versa) and replacing the entire inventory when necessary. Figure 7 presents a viscosity variation of the oil phase as a function of the amount of diesel added and the temperature. With the objective to have an oil viscosity of 20 cP at an ambient temperature, 55% of diesel was mixed with 45% of Bonsucesso oil. A demulsifier was also added to the oil phase before generate the mixture with water.

Figure 7 – Viscosity variation of the oil phase as a function of diesel amount and temperature of the fluids. 3.3. Test Loop The tests were performed at Petrobras Experimental Center (NUEX) in Aracajú/SE. The Test Loop constructed at Aracajú is summarized in Figure 8 and basically consist of two storage tanks and two progressive cavity pumps with flow meters, to adjust the oil and water at a desired concentration and flow-rate. The Various combinations of water cut; pressure loss (from 4 kgf/cm2 to 10 kgf/cm2); flow rates (30 m3/h and 3 45 m /h) were tested and the results compared. As the tests were run in a closed circuit, the oil phase consisted of a 5

Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012 mixture of oil and diesel (with 60 ppm – in oil - of demulsifier). Oil and water are pumped separately and it is possible to generate a mixture / emulsion with the intensity required making the mixture pass through a static mixer and a shear valve when required. The cyclonic and the conventional valves were mounted in parallel, in order to have the same conditions passing thru both valves. Using some balls valves, the operator could select the valve to be tested. After passing thru the valve the mixture was directed to a small sample tank where it settled for 7 minutes. After the settle time, sample from different high of the sample tank were collected and compared (BSW – Basic Sediment and Water and TOG – Total Oil and Grease analysis). The same procedure was done for both valves. Figure 9 shows the two sample tanks used in the tests. All the fluids used in the test were sent to a big vessel and after the end of the inventory, the salt water and oil were treated using a compact electrostatic separator.

Figure 8 – Aracajú/SE Test Loop.

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Figure 9 – Samples Tanks used to settle the samples (left); and valves installed in parallel for comparison.

4. Results
For each sample tank, four samples were collected from different levels and BSW and TOG analysis were done to verify the performance of cyclonic valve and Globe valve. Figure 10 illustrates the sample points. .

Figure 10 – Sample Tank with four levels for collecting samples after 7 minutes of settling. Figures 11 to 14 present some results and for most of cases there was a significant difference in the performance, as showed in Figures below. The numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 represent the height of the sample points taken from the sample tanks. Note that sometimes samples 1 and 2 are omitted for a given test point. For these points, the oil quantity was too high that made the glass all dirty, making the visual analyses impossible. However, when the inlet emulsion conditions were very stable, there was not so significant difference between the valves, showing that it is very important prevent the emulsion generation. Another relevant point is that for none of the points, the cyclonic valve had worse results if compared with the conventional one.

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Figure 11 – Results for Q = 45 m3/h; WC 70%; mixture device and addition shear of 9 bar.

Figure 12 – Results for Q = 45 m3/h; WC 70%; mixture device and addition shear of 4 bar.

Figure 13 – Results for Q = 30 m3/h; WC 70%; mixture device and addition shear of 6 bar.

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Figure 14 – Results for Q = 45 m3/h; WC 50%; no mixture device and addition shear of 10 bar.

5. Conclusions
Considering the obtained results we have concluded some points regarding the cyclonic valve performance. First, the cyclonic valve does not show much improvement when the fluids are in a very stable emulsion, as expected, the cyclonic effect is not able to break emulsions, but only improve the coalescence mechanism and avoid droplets to break. Thus a study of the physicochemical properties of the oil in question and also the properties of the emulsion generated is extremely important. Second, the cyclonic valve is designed to make the pressure drop across the orifice restriction and downstream of the vortex itself and the design of the valve should be performed in order to keep it in the widest position, allowing greater dissipation of energy in the rotational flow downstream, rather than the localized pressure drop in the hole, which leads to breakage of droplets. And finally, the pressure drop across the valve is an extremely important factor and if it is too low, the cyclonic effect was not observed and the valve does not have a much better performance than the conventional. Analyzing results of the first test campaign, it is already possible to observe that the cyclonic valve has superior performance compared to conventional globe valve for most points, indicating that the distribution of the droplets generates by the cyclonic valve had a reduction if compared with the one generate by the conventional valve (Figure 15).

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Figure 15 – Influence of cyclonic valve on droplet distribution – qualitative graphic. The cyclonic valve can be applied as a choke valve, as a valve between separation stages (for pressure drop), or for controlling the level of vessels. we must emphasize the importance to avoid the high shear imposed by conventional valves, because once the emulsion is created., it becomes more difficult to break it. New tests are being planned to occur in 2012, but Petrobras is also analyzing real cases where the applications could increase the primary process efficiency. In the same way, the future installations are also being designed considering the cyclonic valve usage. The cyclonic valve will be tested in others different scenarios to collect more data for improving the development, but the concept was validated. There is a wide range of application for this valve in the future, principally as a choke valve, because is there where the pressure drop (and so the emulsion formation) is critical. Some developments are needed, especially in order to achieve requirements for sub-sea use, but the results obtained have showed a high potential.

6. References
DUARTE, D. G. Experimental characterization of cyclonic valves flows. Engineering Final Course Work, PEM/COPPE/UFRJ, 2008. MONTEIRO, A. S., MARINS, L. P. M., ALMEIDA, ZANON, J. L. Z., SOUZA, M. A., BARCA, L. F., MORAES, C. A. C., AGUIRE, J. A., SILVA FREIRE, A. P. Experimental and numerical investigation of flow in a new valve designed to reduce the emulsion formation. Rio Oil and Gas, 2010.

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