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research-article

Oil/Water Emulsions Stabilized by Nanoparticles of Different Wettabilities

[+] Author and Article Information
Ilias Gavrielatos

ASME Member, McDougall School of Petroleum Engineering, Tulsa University Separation Technology Projects (TUSTP), The University of Tulsa
elias-gavrielatos@utulsa.edu

Ramin Dabirian

ASME Member, McDougall School of Petroleum Engineering, Tulsa University Separation Technology Projects (TUSTP), The University of Tulsa
ramin-dabirian@utulsa.edu

Ram S. Mohan

ASME Fellow, Mechanical Engineering Department, Tulsa University Separation Technology Projects (TUSTP), The University of Tulsa
ram-mohan@utulsa.edu

Ovadia Shoham

McDougall School of Petroleum Engineering, Tulsa University Separation Technology Projects (TUSTP), The University of Tulsa
ovadia-shoham@utulsa.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4040465 History: Received December 20, 2017; Revised May 14, 2018

Abstract

A state-of-the-art, Portable Dispersion Characterization Rig (P-DCR) is used to investigate the effect of nanoparticles (NP) on oil-water emulsion formation and stabilization. Spherical silica nanoparticles of different wettabilities were used to investigate their effect on separation kinetics of solid stabilized emulsions in terms of solid particle concentration, wettability, initial dispersion phase, water-cut, and shearing time. The main findings of the study include the following: Nanoparticles, even at concentrations as low as 0.005% or 0.01% (by weight), can significantly increase separation time of oil/water emulsions from a few minutes to several hours or even days. The Portable Dispersion Characterization Rig (P-DCR) is recommended as an effective in-line tool to measure emulsion stability in the field.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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