Ultrasound-assisted dewatering of crude oil from Kumkol oilfield
Reducing the water content of crude oil is a necessary step in preparing oil for transportation and processing. This task is complicated by the presence of stable water-in-oil emulsions. The most widely used approach to oil demulsification is exploring chemical demulsifiers. However, the high cost and impossibility of regenerating the latter require the search for new ways to destroy water-oil emulsions. One of the promising areas is the use of ultrasound. This paper presents the results of studies on the ultrasonic treatment of four samples of emulsions with different water content (8.74; 15; 25 and 30 vol.%) based on oil from the Kumkol oilfield (Kazakhstan). Samples of emulsions were subjected to ultrasonic action at a frequency of 40 kHz for 5-60 min at a temperature of 70±1°C, followed by settling for 40 min at the indicated temperature. The influence of the initial water content in the emulsion, the acoustic intensity, as well as the duration of ultrasonic treatment on the dewatering ratio was investigated. It was found that the residual water content in the oil was 5.04- 7.82 vol.%. Ultrasonic treatment of crude oil from the Kumkol oilfield can be used for preliminary dewatering, to subsequently reduce the consumption of chemical demulsifiers.
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