Possibility of Using High Intensity Ultrasonic Wave for Crude Oil Emulsion Separation

Document Type : Research Note


1 Department of Chemical Engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, I.R. IRAN

2 Department of Food Technology, Khorasan Research Institute for Food Science and Technology, Mashhad, I.R. IRAN


In this research, influence of several parameters for emulsion separation with high intensity ultrasonic standing wave field in a horizontal setup was investigated. Emulsion system considered for this study was crude oil in water. Experimental observations were indicated that ultrasound standing wave could break emulsions and separate them to their initial phases.But separation efficiency was depending on several operational parameters such as  ultrasound  intensity, sample  position in ultrasound  field  and  irradiation time period. It was also noticed   that dispersed phase fraction  and  presence  of  surface  active  materials  in  sample  emulsion  had effects on emulsion creaming  rate. A comparison between experimental results were confirmed that the following as the optimum conditions for emulsion separation: 45% ultrasonic intensity, minimum distance from sound source (17.5 cm), maximum irradiation time (30 min), presence of 5% NaCl in initial emulsion formula and lowest oil concentration (5%). In this case, high intensity ultrasonic standing wave could completely separate oil in water emulsion.


Main Subjects

[1] Ese M. H., Gawrys K.L., Pilpatrick P.K., Asphaltene and Naphthenate Mechanisms of Emulsion Stabilization in Water-in-Crude Oil Emulsions, Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, 225, p. 457-COLL, (2003).
[2] Wasan D., Emulsion-Stability Mechanisms: Applications to Demulsification of Water in Crude-Oil Emulsions, Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, 219, p. 32-IEC, (2000).
[3] Anonymous, Fuel Research; Research from B. Borges et al Has Provided New Information about Fuel Research, Energy Weekly News, 2 October, p. 267 (2009).
[4] Anonymous, Fuel Research; Studies from Tianjin University Update Current Data on Fuel Research, Energy Business Journal, 4 Mar,p. 216 (2009).
[5] Poindexter M.K., Marsh S.C., Inorganic Solid Content Governs Water-in-Crude Oil Emulsion Stability Predictions, Energy & Fuels, 23, p. 1258 (2009).
[6] Sjoblom J., Mingyuan L., Christy A.A., Gu T., Water-in-Crude-Oil Emulsions from the Norwegian Continental-Shelf .7. Interfacial Pressure and Emulsion Stability, Colloids and Surfaces, 66, p. 55 (1992).
[7] Pangu G.D., Feke D.L., Acoustically Aided Separation of Oil Droplets from Aqueous Emulsions, Chemical Engineering Science,59, p. 3183 (2004).
[8] Ye G., Lu X., Application of Ultrasound on Crude Oil Pretreatment, Chemical Engineering and Processing,47, p. 2346 (2008).
[9] Yang X.G., Tan W., Tan X., Demulsification of Crude Oil Emulsion via Ultrasonic Chemical Method, Petroleum Science and Technology, 27, p. 2010 (2009).
[10] Stack L.J., Carney P.A., Factors Influencing the Ultrasonic Separation of Oil-in-Water Emulsions, Ultrasonics Sonochemistry, 12, p. 153 (2005).
[11] Nii S., Kikumoto S., Quantitative Approach to Ultrasonic Emulsion Separation, Ultrasonics Sonochemistry, 16, p. 145 (2009).
[12] Mongent N., Charrier S., Chalier P., Effect of Ultrasound Emulsification on Cheese Aroma Encapsulation by Carbohydrates, Journal of Agricultural and Food chemistry, 48, p.861 (2000).
[13] Leong T.S.H., Wooster T.J., Kentish S.E.,  Ashokkumar M., Minimising Oil Droplet Size Using Ultrasonic Emulsification, Ultrasonics Sonochemistry, 16, p. 721 (2009).
[14] Behrand O., Ax K., Schubert H., Inflnence of Confinnous Phase Viscosity on Emulsification by Ultrasound, Ultrasonic Sonochemistry, 7, p. 77 (2000).
[15] Ma L., Barbosa-Canavas V., Rheological Characterization of Mayonnaise. Port II: Flow and Viscoelastic Properties at Different Oil and Xanthan Gum Concentrations, Journal of Food Engineering, 25, p. 409 (1995).
[16] Wang X., "Crude Oil Emulsion Stability Determination and Its Implications in Enhanced Oil Recovery," Ph.D. Thesis, University of Wyoming, United States -- Wyoming.
[17] Baloch M.K., Hamead G., Emulsification of Oil in Water as Affected by Different Parameters, Journal of colloid and Interface Science, 285, p. 804 (2005).
[18] Clausse D., Gomez F., Dalmazzone C., Noik C., A Method for the Characterization of Emulsions, Thermogranulometry: Application to Water-in-Crude Oil Emulsion, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 287, p. 694 (2005).