Population Balance Equation Modeling of Crude Oil Demulsification Considering Demulsifier: Modification of Collision Frequency Function Based on Thermodynamic Model


1 Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

2 Department of Chemical Engineering, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman


A theoretical model is developed to consider the effect of demulsifier agent on demulsification of water-in-crude oil emulsion. A thermodynamic approach is considered to correlate the critical micelle concentration of a demulsifier to the collision frequency function in population balance equation (PBE). Based on the proposed correlation, the collision frequency function is modified to account the effect of demulsifier agent on water droplets coalescence. The water separation capability of a selected group of demulsifiers is investigated via the conventional bottle test method to obtain the adjustable parameter of the developed equation so that the absolute relative error of predicted demulsification efficiency and experimental data are considered as objective. Comparison between the model simulated results and the experimental data showed that the proposed model could appropriately reproduce the experimental data at different agent concentrations.