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Engineering    2017, Vol. 3 Issue (2) : 220 -231
Research |
Upstream Operations in the Oil Industry: Rigorous Modeling of an Electrostatic Coalescer
Francesco Rossi1,2,Simone Colombo1,Sauro Pierucci1,Eliseo Ranzi1,Flavio Manenti1()
1. Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering “Giulio Natta,” Polytechnic University of Milan, Milan 20133, Italy
2. Davidson School of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2100, USA

This paper deals with a first-principle mathematical model that describes the electrostatic coalescer units devoted to the separation of water from oil in water-in-oil emulsions, which are typical of the upstream operations in oil fields. The main phenomena governing the behavior of the electrostatic coalescer are described, starting from fundamental laws. In addition, the gradual coalescence of the emulsion droplets is considered in the mathematical modeling in a dynamic fashion, as the phenomenon is identified as a key step in the overall yield of the unit operation. The resulting differential system with boundary conditions is then integrated via performing numerical libraries, and the simulation results confirm the available literature and the industrial data. A sensitivity analysis is provided with respect to the main parameters. The mathematical model results in a flexible tool that is useful for the purposes of design, unit behavior prediction, performance monitoring, and optimization.

Keywords Upstream operations      Electrostatic coalescer      Desalter      Rigorous modeling      Water-oil emulsion     
Corresponding Authors: Flavio Manenti   
Just Accepted Date: 05 April 2017   Online First Date: 26 April 2017    Issue Date: 27 April 2017
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Francesco Rossi
Simone Colombo
Sauro Pierucci
Eliseo Ranzi
Flavio Manenti
Cite this article:   
Francesco Rossi,Simone Colombo,Sauro Pierucci, et al. Upstream Operations in the Oil Industry: Rigorous Modeling of an Electrostatic Coalescer[J]. Engineering, 2017, 3(2): 220 -231 .
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