4th International Conference on

Southampton, UK:

P. SCHUMMER & P. NOE (ACB-CERG. France) M. BAKER (BP Engineering, Great Britain) Summary
A series of LDV (1) measurements enable the investigation of axial and tangential velocity fields inside the cylindrical separation chamber of a new rotating wall cyclone aimed at oil/water separation in offshore applications (dewatering process). Experiments are undertaken with a special pure transparent cosmetic oil of high viscosity to simulate the laminar/turbulent flow conditions of crude oil. The experiment is described. Velocity measurements show the influence of rotation speed and flow rate on the resulting acceleration field (more than 900 gees achieved) and reveal non uniform axial profiles with high velocities near the wall and the core while at midradius an axial velocity reduction and even reversed flow is observed at low throughputs. Tangential profiles are barely affected by flow withdrawal through an annular downstream exit, enabling potentially good separation and extraction of water droplets from oil. Thanks to the rotating wall there is no swirl decay; very low turbulence and reduced shear effects are expected due to special design of the rotary cyclone.

D d L n Ro : : : : : diameter of cylindrical vortex separation chamber (m) diameter of a droplet (m) length of cylindrical vortex separation chamber (m) exponent of vortex law: Vrn = constant radius of the cyclone's inner wall: Ro = D / 2 (m)

(1) Laser Doppler Velocimetry

very few studies have been carried out on that subject (scarce data in Ref. The use of hydrocyclones may also be considered in the reverse process which consists of dewatering the produced crude oil before transport into pipelines. especially for heavy oils of high viscosity. Their separation efficiency is also very attractive in comparison with conventional treatment units. uθ. [2]. with a dewatering cyclone.r & u ur. the continuous phase being water. [1]) but higher efficiencies were obtained with rotary hydrocyclones (Ref. INTRODUCTION Hydrocyclones are increasingly used for liquid-liquid separation especially in oil industry: their low mean residence time (a few seconds vs. The present study is thus included in a development program on dewatering rotating hydrocyclones. [3] and [4]). Hydrocyclones with special design have been developed for the treatment of produced oily water to respect legislation before discharge to the sea : the oil in water content has to be reduced to less than 40 ppm (North Sea). The migration velocity W can be estimated according to Stokes’ law: . [3]). X ranging from 0 to L intensity of acceleration field (m/ s2) circulation (swirl intensity of vortex) (m2 / s) angle (rd) viscosity of continuous phase (kg/ms) specific gravity difference or density difference (kg/m3) 1. several minutes for gravity settling tanks) reduces the space and weight required on offshore platforms. Separation can be obtained with conventional hydrocyclones (Ref. Up to now. the continuous phase is crude oil and the water droplets migrate towards the wall. Inside a de-oiling hydrocyclone the oily droplets migrate towards the axis of the vortex chamber. ux U V Vo Vrnax W X : : : : : : : : : : : : : : γ Γ θ µ δρ radius (m) flow velocity vector (m/s) velocity components (radial tangential and axial) (m/s) axial velocity (m/ s) tangential velocity (m/ s) tangential wall velocity (m/s) maximum of tangential velocity (m/s) migration radial velocity of droplets (m/ s) abscissa along axis of vortex separation chamber (m).

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