The demand for more cost effective field developments has led to a substantial focus on separation equipment that reduces weight and deck space. Of particular concern are field developments with subsea production templates and multiphase transportation to existing field installations. Additionally, the environmental aspects concerning the use of large amounts of chemical demulsifiers are crucial these days.
In this paper we present a new Compact Electrostatic Coalescer (CEC) that has the capability to reduce both weight and size, and to eliminate the use of chemical demulsifiers, in some cases.
The basic principle of the CEC is the application of a high-voltage A.C. electric field to an emulsion system flowing under turbulent conditions. The influence of both the electric field and the turbulent mixing are utilized in the breaking of the flowing emulsion.
The performance of the laboratory version of the CEC is discussed with respect to emulsion properties, flow rate, applied voltage and residence time in the electric field. Performance is quantified using both a Malvern Particle and Droplet Size Analyzer and a Hamanatsu Image Analysis System.
Some results from a prototype test on live crude are also given.