Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 170 (2000) 33 – 44 www.elsevier.


Stability of model emulsions and determination of droplet size distributions in a gravity separator with different inlet characteristics
Per Arild Kjølseth Andresen a,* , Richard Arntzen b, Johan Sjøblom c
b a Department of Chemistry, Uni6ersity of Bergen, Allegt. 41, N -5007 Bergen, Norway K6ærner Process Systems a.s, R&D Group, S.P. Andersens 6ei 7, N -7465 Trondheim, Norway c Statoil A /S, R&D Centre, Rot6oll, N -7005 Trondheim, Norway

Received 4 June 1999; accepted 23 November 1999

Abstract A model system consisting of an aliphatic oil (Exxsol D60), a commercial surfactant (nonyl-phenol-ethoxylate, Berol 26) and water was examined in a gravity separator loop system. By using a surfactant, we tried to control the stability of the dispersion and to extract the influence of some of the separator characteristics. The parameters varied were water cut, pressure drop, volumetric flow rate and inlet device. Initial droplet size distributions (DSDs) were obtained and examined for both water- and oil-continuous systems. It was observed that under these experimental conditions and for these surfactant concentrations ( 5 330 ppm) the oil-continuous dispersion was very unstable and consequently the DSD measurements were not representative for the whole population of droplets. For the water-continuous emulsions, variations were found to be dependent on pressure drop, water cut and flow rate. In this case all the DSD data seemed reliable and accurate. © 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Gravity separator; Initial droplet size distribution; Model oil; Surfactant and separator characteristics

Nomenclature dP NIL Qt WC p pressure drop over choke (bar) normal interface level, as measured by pressure transmitters (m) total liquid flow rate (m3 h − 1) water cut separator efficiency

* Corresponding author. Tel.: + 47-55-583382; fax: + 47-55-589490. E -mail address: (P.A.K. Andresen) 0927-7757/00/$ - see front matter © 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. PII: S 0 9 2 7 - 7 7 5 7 ( 9 9 ) 0 0 5 1 8 - X

Since the droplet size entering the separator determines the settling velocity and hence retention time. Eng. Outside these boundaries. initial droplet size distribution (DSD) and upstream conditions (choke pressure drop). the experimental data will be much more suitable for performing scale-up and implementation into design tools. The experiments conducted are usually small-scale with regard to mass flow. this rate is a product of several complex mechanisms like binary coalescence. it is difficult to convert these relations to a largescale continuously flowing separator system. Another weakness with most design tools is that they assume an initial DSD.34 P. it was desirable to create a dispersion that did not coalesce completely within the retention time of the separator (2–4 min). Based on literature the reason for this is the lack of experimental data connecting initial DSD and upstream conditions. Aspects 170 (2000) 33–44 1. Tools in use at present do not have a coalescence model for the dispersion entering the separator and use only modified versions of Stokes law [1] of settling when describing the settling/creaming of droplets and the subsequent separation of phases. This high production rate of water will place high demands on separator efficiency and treatment of wastewater. The overall coalescence rate of the dispersion band in a separator is the most important design criteria. and is probably the reason why there is no generalized coalescence model for concentrated dispersion with a sound theoretical foundation. / Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochem. correct DSD is crucial. By using some of the typical geometric features of a full-scale separator. Each of these mechanisms is further related to other even more complex processes/factors like hydrodynamic micro and macro motions. Using a pure. but to our knowledge these reports are mainly based on low dispersed fractions and are specific for the instrumentation used. Alternatively they have examined extraction columns [7. which will increase the retention time in the separator. many new fields to be explored in the future will be complicated to develop since the crude oil produced will contain large amounts of heavy components like asphaltenes and resins.K. The apparatus is usually a vessel with a stirrer implemented as an energy dissipating device [2 – 6] and for obvious reasons. These components will strongly increase the capability of the crude oil to bind water. Most authors have examined water/oil systems that coalesce completely within seconds after the energy-dissipating device is stopped. There are literature reports on break-up and coalescence of droplets in oil/water systems. The influence of higher water cuts and more stabilizing surface active components enhance the need for a coalescence model.A.8] which have different design and dispersing devices compared to gravity separators. Andresen et al. It was. interfacial coalescence and settling/creaming. Introduction New trends will emerge during the next 3 – 5 years in the petroleum production on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. This makes it difficult to separate the overall rate into a sum of distinct rates. In addition to this. First of all the amount of water produced from topside platform separators will increase mainly due to ageing fields with water-break-through and a concomitant co-production of injection water together with the oil. These new types of crude oils will also most likely necessitate an increase in the use of production chemicals in the separator and in the transport process. imperative for the system to separate during the model loop’s total retention time ( 15 min). With the objective to carry out tests in a continuously flowing separator and to examine the dispersion band along the separator length. droplet size distribution and interfacial components. however. In order to understand the overall coalescence rate one must also understand the interactions between these mechanisms. Unfortunately. classical model oil in a large-scale apparatus will fail to create a dispersion band that can be examined without using flow rates that are too large with regard to the . The effects of these two trends have to be implemented into the design tools used to optimize topside gravity separators. the result would be no dispersion band at all or circulation of a stable dispersion/ emulsion. The aim of this work was to carry out experimental work in a pilot-scale separator and obtain empirical correlations between separator characteristics.

where one would expect different separator behavior.38– 0. the water quality will normally exceed standard downstream specifications. Aspects 170 (2000) 33–44 35 rate region of interest. By controlling the amount of surfactant.16. 0. The last part describes the method used for sampling the DSD.2.5 and 0. With concentrations lower than 100 ppm no visual differences were observed. First. Preliminary bottle tests The objective of the bottle tests was to establish an emulsion stability range with regard to the concentration of commercial surfactant. Sweden) was used as w/o surfactant in order to control the stability. and for instance with a concentration of 1% a very stable emulsion was formed. In normal separator operation the first term (1 − WCwater outlet) is close to 1. keeping acceptable water quality for downstream processing). and the efficiency is hence based on the oil quality only. The system will generally behave more robustly if this prerequisite is disregarded. (1)) as the phase qualities are generally interdependent. Experimental This section is divided into four parts. Separator system 2. Andresen et al. Secondly. / Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochem. The commercial name is Berol 26. it is very cost effective and easy to use an open system since environmental issues can be maintained. p = (1 − WCwater outlet 2. Berol 26 (Berol Nobel Industries. The final level of stability is also determined by the flow conditions. )WCoil outlet (1) . Separator efficiency The separator tests were carried out under the prerequisite that the normal interface level (NIL) should be at fixed values. Hence all tests at [WC = 0. The surfactant used in this study is a non-ionic ethoxylated nonyl phenol. When using an aliphatic oil containing a surfactant (ppm range) one should get dispersions with characteristics between stable and unstable.2 wt.K.A.3. The first two describe the chemical system and some preliminary tests performed to establish a concentration range with regard to the surfactant. This is not the case when a crude oil is used.and oil-continuous runs within the same parameter ranges. it is reasonable that one also would control the separation characteristics.P. particularly the dispersion band.25 and 0. 2. while tests at [WC = 0. contrary to standard operation conditions (for example. This however made it necessary to define an efficiency based on combined outlet qualities (Eq. It was also desirable to do both water. The inversion point between water. Berol 26 is a commercial nonyl-phenol-ethoxylate with approximately six EO groups (in reality a distribution of EOs).and oil-continuous systems is in the range of WC = 0. Additions of a suitable commercial surfactant will not remove the advantages of a transparent system or make the system environmentally hostile.1.1. 2.%. many crude oils may generate stable dispersions within the model loop’s retention time and hence are of no use in a continuous model loop. The tests were very simple and were performed by shaking bottles with different Berol 26 concentrations and visually observing the evolution of the water phase. with approximately six EO groups. The reasons why one cannot use crude oil directly are obvious.84] are water-continuous.3. transparent) and water with a salinity of 2. The reason for choosing this surfactant is that the group in Bergen has collected a lot of data on emulsions (w/o) stabilized by this chemical. The third part is related to the separator system and how separation characteristics are extracted.35] are oil-continuous.40 for flow conditions in our tests. Chemical system The dispersions were prepared by using Exxsol D-60 model oil (mixture of aliphatic hydrocarbons with chain lengths from C10H22 to C13H28. 2. Finally one should keep in mind that crude oil batches are not reproducible due to ageing effects. Eng. As the model separator has limited dimensions. A third factor is that one will lose the advantages of a transparent dispersion.

1. The positive displacement pumps deliver a stable pressure to the choke valve within their capacity.25 Table 2 Explanation of indices in Fig.A. Geometry data and explanation of the figure indices for the model separator are given in Tables 1 and 2. Eng.63 2. The model separator is a pilot-scale first-stage separator.4 m3. 1 Symbol in Fig. System The separator system consists of a multiphase flow loop with a bulk feed gravity separator. designed for low shear. In order to investigate the effect of shear within a cyclone inlet on separation and also the effect of the liquid outlet height. two positive displacement pumps. connected to butterfly control valves at the outlets. / Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochem.80 0.K. height 250 mm from vessel bottom Perforated distribution plate.53 0.2. P&ID of the multiphase separator loop. inner diameter 1 m . with a flow distributor (perforated plate) to remove unwanted channelling and uneven flow distribution.36 P. Total liquid volume in the flow loop is approx.55 0. 2. This will give stable feed conditions to the model. Aspects 170 (2000) 33–44 Fig. 2. 1 shows the Process and Instrument Diagram (P&ID) for the loop. 500 mm from vessel bottom Inlet device Feed separator. The levels are controlled by differential pressure (DP) measurements upand downstream of the weir. Inlet B is a simple 2¦ bend and tube. and a model separator made in acrylic plastic. and facilitate the experimental work. Fig. 1 Parameter Length tan-tan Inner diameter Length tan-weir Length tan-perforated plate Height weir Symbol/unit LTT [m] ID [m] LTW [m] LTP [m] HW [m] Value 2. Inlets C (and D) are Table 1 Geometry data for model separator in Fig. four inlets were tested as shown in Fig. tan-tan length 3 m. 2. Andresen et al. 1 LCVO LCVW Qw Qo P CV 1 2 3 4 Explanation NOL [oil] level control valve NIL [water] level control valve Electromagnetic water flow meter Oil turbine flow meter Pressure gauge Choke valve (manual ball valve) Weir. and has consequently a larger operational window with respect to loading. The bulk gravity separator is several times larger than the model.3.

These were located at: (1) 0. (6) at the water outlet.12.4. D. The analysis vessel has to be drained. To prevent the droplets from wetting the plates.3.4 m upstream from the inlet. . By inserting a sampling tube into the inlet pipeline. The technique was developed in order to examine unstable dispersions with a high internal phase in flowing systems. Inlet device geometries used in the tests. and F have a liquid exit above NIL. Aspects 170 (2000) 33–44 37 Fig. either in a pure oil phase or alternatively in an oil phase with the same amount of surfactant as used in the experiments.15 and 0. the bottom plate was made of a hydrophobic material (acrylic plastic) and the top plate was made of a hydrophilic material (glass). inlet C/D). a controlled injection of a sample into the dilution tank can be obtained. Droplet size measurement technique The technique used for extracting the DSD has been developed and described elsewhere by An- dresen et al. C and D are reference cases. In the experiments.A. 3 shows the set-up of the measurement apparatus. The measurement of the droplet sizes on the images is also rather time-consuming. one can withdraw a sample iso-kinetically without subjecting the dispersion to any dissipating force.K. The basic principle is a fast dilution of the dispersion with the continuous phase. / Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochem. MV2) connected to a timer. inlets B. cleaned and filled up between each experiment. Andresen et al. The sampling tubes were placed in the middle of the pipeline and inlet liquid diffuser. These are indicated in Fig. 1. The other parameter investigated is the outlet height of the liquid diffuser.e. Using two magnetic valves (MV1. Thus inlet B represents a low shear inlet. and (7) at the oil outlet. Such effects might accelerate the coalescence of especially large droplets. Depending on the continuous phase of the dispersion. The smallest droplets possible to measure are about a few mm since the Brownian force will prevent them from settling/creaming. Inlet F is the same twin cyclone.19 m (measured from the bottom of the vessel). DSDs were extracted from points 1 and 2 described above. 2. Sampling Seven sample points were chosen for characterizing the separator performance.2 m upstream from the weir plate at heights of 0. The dilution behavior can be performed in two different ways. 2. conventional twin CCI™ as manufactured by Kværner Process Systems. (3 – 5) 0.P.3. The major weakness of the technique is the large amount of time consumed in extracting the DSD. and F is a high shear inlet (double load vs. Fig. typically with a dilution ratio of 1:100. (2) inside the inlet liquid diffuser. the droplets will settle on the bottom plate (oil-continuous) or cream onto the top plate (water-continuous). 2. A video camera was mounted beneath or over the dilution tank and several images of droplets were captured and analyzed in order to extract the DSD. while inlet C has a liquid exit below NIL. The image analysis tool Image Pro Plus was used to measure the size and generate droplet size distributions. but with one cyclone blocked at the gasand liquid outlets. Eng. [9]. i. The advantage of using a continuous phase containing the stabilizer is that there will be no drainage of surfactant at the interface of the droplets. 0.

The separator performed well for all water-continuous flow rates at Qt = 12 m3 h − 1. Andresen et al. The effect of water cut is attributed to the amount of internal phase required to be transported through the coalescing interface. as shown in Fig. This is in accordance with Refs. WC = 50%. 3. the only significant parameters found were water cut (amount of dispersed phase) and concentration of Berol 26. but failed for [Qt = 18 m3 h − 1. This surfactant effect is somewhat surprising and will be discussed in more detail below. as suggested by Refs. Fig. Also. as the dispersed fraction decreases with increasing water cut for water-continuous systems. . which indicates that the separator loading was far from the limit for this system. Fig. Eng. 5. This indicates that the impact of shear and liquid diffuser height is less than the resolution of the measurement technique for the given system. Iso-kinetic injection system for measuring DSD. 330 ppm Berol 26].1. 3. [1. and all variations were of the same order as the measurement resolution.38 P. Results and discussion This section is divided into one part concerning the separator performance and one related to the droplet size distribution. 330 ppm Berol 26] and performed poorly (p = 0.84) for [Qt = 18 m3 h − 1. Aspects 170 (2000) 33–44 3. [1. Separator efficiency Typical results from the water-continuous separator efficiency tests are shown in Fig. 3. 4. Separator performance The results showed very high separation efficiency and little variation in the oil-continuous systems. the major influence in the tests was the effect of Berol 26 in the water-continuous regime.A. As can be seen. As can be seen from the figure. The effect of Berol 26 is obviously to stabilize the oil-in-water droplets. as shown in Fig.1. No significant difference was found between the various inlets. / Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochem.10].1. Neither was the effect of choke pressure drop found significant within the varied interval. Higher water cuts gave an increase in separation efficiency. WC = 83%.10]. the water cut was only a significant parameter for runs with 330 ppm of Berol 26.K. 5. 5 shows results typically found during the experiments.

no Berol 26] and [water cut 83%.P. However. efficiency versus inlet type. Pressure drop variations disregarded. the difference in dispersion layer gradient between systems [water cut 50%. In Fig. As can be seen from the table.6 WC% cm − 1. The reason for the variance within the calculated concentrations at Normal Interface Level (NIL) origins is difficulties with the pressure transmitter calibrations between runs.99 and 0. 6. This implies that the concentration gradient of the dispersion layer is non-linear. Andresen et al. Constant Qt = 12 m3 h − 1. at least for the [water cut 83%. Assuming a linear gradient and neglecting all other forces but gravity. the dispersion concentration gradients suggest the opposite effect. and 5) showed pure phases in at least two sample points for all oil-continuous tests. These results are therefore not discussed further. / Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochem. Aspects 170 (2000) 33–44 39 Fig. Tests of different Berol 26 concentrations. 4. This figure also includes the oil-continuous regime. for comparison. The gradient may indeed be non-linear and/or discontinuous (having a discontinuity at a maximum dispersed phase Fig. 5.03 m). 330 ppm Berol 26]-system. having all the three sample points within the dispersion band are shown in Fig. Eng. i. the difference in separator efficiency for these cases is 0. This is caused by the low stability of the system. Water-continuous tests of different inlet types.e. .2. the thickness of the dispersion layer should be larger with decreasing slope. The only experiments where the separator performed satisfactorily.K. being unable to produce a dispersion layer thicker than the resolution of the sample point (0. 5. which probably is the result of a difference in dispersion layer thickness. these values should coincide at WC = 0.8 versus − 2. efficiency versus two-way interactions between WC and Berol 26 concentration. Dispersion layer measurements The sample points inside the separator (points 3. The linear concentration gradients for the different systems are shown in Table 3. Constant inlet type D. flow rate Qt = 18 m3 h − 1. 330 ppm Berol 26] is − 1.84.5 which is the definition of NIL when using pressure transmitters as controllers. 3.A. 4.

2 3 factorial design oil -continuous The combined effects expressed as interaction terms are relatively small and by neglecting them one will get a model (Eq.36 −0. / Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochem.3 dP d (2) . 6. The set-up consist of five parts: Two 23 factorial design (w/o.40 P.1. The DSDs are in all cases represented as linear average diameter. Although many authors prefer volumetric or maximal diameter [11]. Table 3 Dispersion layer gradientsa Water cut Berol 26 (ppm) Correlation coefficient 0. it was found that in these experiments a weighting of the measured values would respond to a large error due to the broadness of the distribution and the limiting number of droplets counted ( 1000 per experiment).44 0.3.6 −2.31 50% 84% 84% a 0 0 330 All flow rates are Qt = 18 m3 h−1.8 −12.3. 3. (2)) which explains 89. Aspects 170 (2000) 33–44 Fig.996 0. The slopes should however be unaffected by this absolute value at calculated NIL.A.K. effect of different inlet devices and the effect of no surfactant added. Eng.992 0.6 0. but this cannot explain the large variance found.966 Concentration gradient Calculated interception (water fraction at (WC% cm−1) measured NIL) −1. which is defined as the sum of measured diameters divided with the number of measurements. value). Dispersion layer gradients. 3.9% of the total variation in the experimental data. Droplet size distribution Table 4 shows the experimental set-up and values for the DSD experiments. ( lin = 63 + 9WC + 7Qt − 7. o/w) with 330 ppm Berol 26. The volumetric weighting of the largest droplet would typically represent 30% of the total volume. extended data points for evaluating the pressure drop effect. Andresen et al.

5 18 7 0.83 12 7 0.5 18 3 0.5 12 3 Pressure drop effect 0.5 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2. Aspects 170 (2000) 33–44 41 The predicted values from the model versus measured values are given in Fig.P. hence shorter time for coalescence to occur. i. and numerous small satellite droplets. Measurements of these satellite droplets Berol 26 (ppm) Linear average diameter (mm) Oil -continuous.5 12 7 0.5 0.25 18 7 0.5 12 0.e.5 18 0.25 18 3 0. A higher total flow rate should result in smaller droplets since it gives rise to a higher shear and the retention time Table 4 Experimental results from the DSD experiments WC Qt (m3 h−1) DP (bar) Measuring point between the choke and the measuring point (inlet) would be less.16 18 3 0.25 12 7 0.83 12 Inlet de6ice effect 0.K.83 18 0.25 12 3 0. higher internal phase fraction gives larger droplets and higher shears give smaller droplets. device B 2.25 12 0.5 0. non-measurable droplets. 7. device D 2. The reason for this is probably the fact that all the oil-continuous experiments suffered to some degree from coalescence in the dilution tank and this would further increase the experimental error to the value of the data variation.83 18 0.16 18 0.16 18 0. This coalescence gave rise to a couple of very large.16 12 0. 2 3 factorial design 0. The effect of higher water cut and total flow rate in Eq.83 12 3 0. (2) is to increase the linear average drop size while higher pressure drops will create smaller linear drop size. The water cut and the pressure drop show effects that are consistent with theory [12].16 12 7 0.83 18 0. / Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochem. device D 2.83 18 7 0.83 18 0. Andresen et al. Eng. 2 3 factorial design 0.5 0.A.16 18 Effect of no surfactant 0.16 18 7 0. device D 1 330 330 330 330 330 330 330 330 330 330 330 330 330 330 330 330 330 330 330 330 330 330 330 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 78 86 58 66 46 70 41 59 82 95 121 102 101 99 124 122 68 87 206 106 48 63 49 47 57 275 212 227 229 207 . device F 1 1 1 1 2.16 12 3 Water -continuous.16 18 0.83 18 3 0.25 18 0.

8. 2 3 factorial design water -continuous The water-continuous experiments did not suffer from coalescence in the dilution tank and gave much more accurate values than the corresponding oil-continuous experiments discussed above. in this case lower disperse phase fraction. . Eng. For oil-continuous systems and experimental conditions given above it seems that addition of surfactant Fig. 9 displays the results and the effect of larger pressure drops and lower internal phase fraction is definitely smaller droplets.5Qt d (3) The predicted values from the model versus measured values are given in Fig.3.3. Pressure drop effect In order to evaluate the pressure drop effect more precisely. Linear regression line.3. Inlet de6ice effect Unfortunately these experiments were carried out with the oil-continuous system and one must have the experimental drawbacks in mind. 5 which clearly shows that the dispersions are more stable in the water-continuous regime. 3. Both these trends are in accordance with common theory [12]. Linear regression line.8WC − 11. Fig. The table indicates very little difference in the linear droplet size due to different inlet devices.2. would then give a smaller average diameter than the actual one entering the separator. four additional experiments with a pressure drop of 0. 3. oil-continuous factorial design.8 − 5. Effect of no surfactant Fig. 8. 3.42 P. Theory [12] based on the viscosity and density of dispersed and continuous phase predicts that water droplets in general should be larger than the oil droplets and this is the opposite of these results. 3. / Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochem.4. 10 displays the effect of surfactant on the linear average drop size at a total flow rate of 18 m3 h − 1 and at 7 bar pressure drop. water-continuous factorial design.1% of the total variation in the experimental data. (3)) which explains 83. and higher total flow rate suggests smaller droplets. The effect of higher water cut. The coalescence of the large water droplets observed for the oil-continuous systems is one possible explanation. Andresen et al.A.3.K. ( lin = 105. This is probably due to the fact that Berol 26 stabilized the oil droplets and this is also in accordance with Fig.5. The coalescence of water droplets is obviously affecting the results for the oil-continuous emulsions.3. Fig. 7. 2 and their effects on the linear droplet size are shown in Table 4. Aspects 170 (2000) 33–44 The combined effects and the pressure drop effect are relatively small and by neglecting them one will get a model (Eq. The different inlet devices tested are shown in Fig.5 bar at a flow of 12 m3 h − 1 were carried out. Hence the shear arising from the different configuration of the inlets does not seem to be large enough to alter the average diameter of the droplets.

The experiments with inlet device D and replicates without surfactant confirm that the watercontinuous system gives reliable results (227 and 229 mm). In the separator system it is possible that a small layer of stable emulsion is formed and accumulated in the feed tank. The surfactant molecules can for instance interact with impurities. On the other hand the water-continuous systems clearly show that the surfactant alters the droplets to smaller sizes. Eng. In order to create this emulsion one must have a relatively large amount of surfactant. Since the commercially available surfactant will have a polydispersity in the number of EO units.P. A direct consequence of this is that at low concentrations the stability of oil droplets will increase at the expense of water droplets. Average linear diameter versus water cut at different Berol 26 concentrations. / Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochem.K. forming unwanted by-products or be accumulated in the system thereby affecting the bulk concentration and hence the equilibrium. which is also experimentally observed. However at higher surfactant concentrations the w/o stability will predominate. There might be a straightforward explanation for the findings with regard to emulsion stabilization at these surfactant concentrations and flow rates. In other words Berol 26 seems to stabilize the oil droplets. gives rise to somewhat larger droplets. Aspects 170 (2000) 33–44 43 Fig. Another important factor concerning the use of surfactants are the ageing of the system due to the different processes. Andresen et al. If these local regions are subjected to turbulence. Local regions with higher surfactant concentration than in the bulk can be created when densely packed droplets coalesce and the interfacial area is greatly reduced. droplets with enough sur- Fig. 10.A. 9. in this case ] 330 ppm since this gave an unstable dispersion. . Especially when working with large apparatus and flowing systems open to atmosphere one cannot discard that the concentration of the surfactant in the two phases will change with time. biological agents degrading the oil phase. one can presume that the molecules with the highest amount of EO groups will possess the highest surface activity. Average linear diameter versus pressure drop at different water cuts.

On the behaviour of liquid dispersions in mixing vessels. J.A.E. Walstra. Chem. The use of a commercial surfactant did not come up with the anticipated results. Kumar. / Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochem. 37 (1998) 547 – 554. S. 13 (5) (1967) 1007 – 1013. Aspects 170 (2000) 33–44 face-active components to create a stable emulsion can be formed. Conclusions The main objectives of these experiments were to establish a model system that performed with some of the same characteristics as a crude oil system. 24 (2) (1978) 170 – 180. Ind. 34 (1995) 3925 – 3940. Dispersion Sci. Dispersion Sci. 15 (2) (1994) 133 – 146.D. [6] F. Kumar. Eng. Principles of emulsion formation. Chem. Eng.J. Eng. X. AIChE J. The dispersions in the oil-continuous experiments were unstable. AIChE J. 1998 Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. Hartland. In order to obtain more reliable results. Res. F.K. It was especially important to achieve some stability with regard to the oil-continuous experiments. S. Res. the opposite effects occurred. Kinetics of coalescence of water droplets in water-in-crude oil-emulsions. [2] A. S. Weinstein. 19 (2) (1973) 304 – 312. [7] A. Andresen.P. a new type of model oil system with promising results regarding stability of the oil-continuous dispersions has been established and will be published soon. SPE Proceedings. Unified correlations for the prediction of drop size in liquid – liquid extraction columns. S. Linga. [8] A. Jeelani. J. A unified correlation for the prediction of dispersed-phase hold-up in liquid – liquid-extraction columns. Droplet size spectra generated in turbulent pipe flow of dilute liquid/liquid dispersions. Res. Sjøblom. R. but the dispersions in the water-continuous experiments performed well with the desired stability.44 P. In the concentration range selected for the experiments. 13 (5) (1967) 995 – 997.A. agitated vessels. 10 (1961) 259 – 275. . Acknowledgements Per Arild Kjølseth Andresen would like to acknowledge the technology program Flucha financed by the Norwegian Research Council . Bhardwaj. [3] W. [4] R. Yang. Technol.K. H. Polderman. Drop size distributions in strongly coalescing agitated liquid – liquid systems. Ind.B. [12] P. Shinnar. Sprow. Andresen et al. Chem. The amount of surfactant consumed in these processes will increase with time given ageing of the system. Hartland. Hartland. which is attributed to the dual and effective nature of the commercial surfactant. 48 (2) (1993) 333 – 349. Sci. References [1] S. AIChE J. [11] A. Technol. Liquid – liquid contacting in unbaffled. Eng. Measurment of coalescence frequency in an agitated tank. AIChE J. Howarth.J. [5] B. grant. grant. Hartland. J. Fluid Mech. Treybal.D. A new method for determining droplet size distribution of unstable dispersions. Eng. Therefore it is important when using these kinds of systems to carry out the experiments in a rapid sequence and hopefully without errors. Chem. Ind. [9] P. Field tests on Draugen. The results from the water-continuous experiments with regard to the influence of instrument parameters and flow showed the same trends as found in earlier work.K. (NFR) and the industry for a Ph. Kværner Process Systems is especially acknowledged for allowing the experimental work to be carried out on their gravity separator and willingly sharing their knowledge regarding separator systems. [10] H. 35 (1996) 2682 – 2695. Effect of dispersion properties on the separation of batch liquid – liquid dispersions. 20 (1&2) (1999) 187 – 197. 4. Karabelas. J. Nilsen.A. Richard Arntzen would like to acknowledge the Mobility Program financed by the Norwegian Research Council (NFR) and Kværner for a Ph.

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