High-pressure visual experimental studies of oil-in-water dispersion droplet size

Zachary M. Aman, Claire B Paris-Limouzy, Eric F. May, Michael L. Johns, David Lindo-Atichati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The formation of oil-in-water dispersions is a critical step during the blowout of coastal and deepwater oil and gas production systems, and is a determining factor in the vertical and lateral migration of oil through the associated adjacent water column. In this study a high-pressure sapphire visual autoclave apparatus was used to measure the size of crude oil droplets that were saturated with gas and dispersed in an aqueous phase as a function of mixing speed. Oil-in-water droplet size distributions were measured at pressures of 11MPa, for autoclave stirring rates of 200-1000RPM (1076≤Restirred vessel≤5378). Arithmetic mean droplet diameters decreased monotonically from 344 to 125μm over this range, with maximum droplet sizes decreasing from 708 to 441μm. A model tuned to the measured oil-in-water data was used to predict a mean droplet size on the order of 80μm for Deepwater Horizon conditions; when incorporated into far field blowout simulations, this droplet size data enables quantitative assessment of the impact of dispersant injection at the blowout site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-400
Number of pages9
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Volume127
DOIs
StatePublished - May 4 2015

Fingerprint

Droplet
Experimental Study
Oils
Water
Autoclaves
Gases
Aluminum Oxide
Sapphire
Petroleum
Production Systems
Far Field
Dispersions
Migration
Vision
Horizon
Lateral
Injection
Adjacent
Crude oil
Vertical

Keywords

  • Deepwater blowout
  • Droplet size
  • Mixing
  • Multiphase flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Cite this

High-pressure visual experimental studies of oil-in-water dispersion droplet size. / Aman, Zachary M.; Paris-Limouzy, Claire B; May, Eric F.; Johns, Michael L.; Lindo-Atichati, David.

In: Chemical Engineering Science, Vol. 127, 04.05.2015, p. 392-400.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Aman, Zachary M. ; Paris-Limouzy, Claire B ; May, Eric F. ; Johns, Michael L. ; Lindo-Atichati, David. / High-pressure visual experimental studies of oil-in-water dispersion droplet size. In: Chemical Engineering Science. 2015 ; Vol. 127. pp. 392-400.
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