This work analyses the impact of the viscosity increase on the separation efficiency of swirl tubes based on experimental data. The data is reduced using dimensionless analysis. A functional relationship between the separation efficiency and the dimensionless groups is obtained. It discloses how the separation efficiency depends on the liquid viscosity, flow rate, solid size, and other geometrical parameters of the separator.It helps to push the design of these desander devices to new scenarios with heavy crudes or to oil-water mixtures with low water cuts prone to evolve to oil-water emulsions.
Copyright 2005, Society of Petroleum Engineers