Optimum demulsifier formulations for Nigerian crude oil-water emulsions
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The formation of crude emulsion during oil production and processing is a challenge of significant proportions to the oil producers. Studies show that about two third of Nigerian crude oil production is in form of water in oil emulsion. For economic and operational reasons, it is necessary to separate the water completely from the crude oil before transportation or refining. Efficiency of separation of crude emulsions is of major importance to producers. To this end, this study primarily seeks to investigate the formulation of effective demulsifier that can be used to achieve this aim; and in so doing, the optimal separation efficiency attainable by this demulsification process is determined. Six different samples of water and oil soluble demulsifiers were used on two different samples of synthetic emulsion (sample I and II (both water in oil emulsion) from different Nigerian oil fields). The bottle test method was used to determine the percentage water separation for each crude oil emulsion/ chemicals (demulsifiers) mixture. The concentrations of the combined six chemicals (demulsifier samples A–F) in the mixture were related to the percentage water separation using response surface methodology central composite design (RSMCCD). Results show that the optimum concentrations of demulsifiers A–F are 59 ppm/39 ppm/29 ppm/20 ppm/29 ppm/13 ppm respectively for crude oil sample I. While 54 ppm/40 ppm/25 ppm/21 ppm/29 ppm/8 ppm respectively were observed as optimum concentration for crude oil II. The combination of these chemical was observed to return better performance than the existing commercial demulsifiers with percentage water separation of 92% and 94% compared to percentage water separation of 87% and 90% returned by one of the currently available demulsifier used in the petroleum industry for crude oil A and B respectively. Hence, the need to carry out optimization analyses on different emulsified crude oil cannot be over-emphasize.
Demulsifier Variable interaction Optimal formulation Emulsion destabilization Interfacial active agent.
Adeyanju, O.A. and Oyekunle L.O. (2018): “Optimum Demulsifier Formulations for Nigerian Crude Oil-Water Emulsion” Egyptian Journal of Petroleum, 27, (2018), 657 – 662. Publisher: Elsevier.