alexa An Experimental Study on the Application of Ultrasonic Technology for Demulsifying Crude Oil and Water Emulsions

Journal of Petroleum & Environmental Biotechnology
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Research Article

An Experimental Study on the Application of Ultrasonic Technology for Demulsifying Crude Oil and Water Emulsions

Mahmood Amani*, Idris M, Abdul Ghani M, Dela Rosa N, Carvero A and Yrac R

Texas A&M University at Qatar, Qatar

*Corresponding Author:
Mahmood Amani
Texas A&M University at Qatar, Qatar
Tel: 974-5583-7368
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: May 25, 2017; Accepted date: June 15, 2017; Published date: June 21, 2017

Citation: Amani M, Idris M, Abdul Ghani M, Dela Rosa N, Carvero A, et al. (2017) An Experimental Study on the Application of Ultrasonic Technology for Demulsifying Crude Oil and Water Emulsions. J Pet Environ Biotechnol 7:330. doi: 10.4172/2157-7463.1000330

Copyright: © 2017 Amani M, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



An emulsion is the mixture of two immiscible fluids, where one fluid appears as droplets within another. In the oil and gas industry, produced crude oil generally comes with an appreciable amount of water within it in an emulsified form. Before produced crude oil can be prepared for purchase, the water associated with it must be removed. A process known as demulsification is required in order to separate an emulsion into its two phases. In the industry, a number of demulsification techniques are already present; these include thermal, mechanical, chemical, and electrical techniques.

Crude oil and gas produced from wells originally come with water, salts, and volatile gases such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, and sometimes hydrogen sulfide, etc. Hence, the petroleum mixture needs to be refined-water, salt, and non-hydrocarbon gases to be separated from the mixture, in order to meet certain oil and gas specifications (which state the maximum concentrations of such contaminants) and make it ready for purchase and transportation.

Sonication provides a cheap, simple, and harmless (as it involves mainly the propagation of sound waves) way of separating crude oils from water droplets via demulsification. In addition, if needed, it can be used for emulsification processes as well. Hence, a study of sonification as a way for crude refinement or chemical mixing has important implications for the oil and gas. This investigation proposes the use of ultrasonication as a new and cost-effective technique to aid in the demulsification of crude oil emulsion. The effectiveness of this technique was gauged through its comparison to the already present methods in the industry. Based on the investigation it was found that centrifuge served as the best demulsification method for it reduced the turbidity by 86%. In addition, the reduced turbidity achieved with proposed ultrasonication method ranges from 20%-60%.


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