CFD modeling of dynamic emulsion stability
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- SINTEF Proceedings 
Assuring transport and separation of oil and water crude emulsions is of significant importance to the oil and gas industries. The crude oil, due to its profuse chemical composition, has complex dispersion and emulsion flow behavior with water. As a result, of the interface chemistry, the bubbles and droplets may separate easily, or not separate at all, impacting flow regime, water holdup, pressure drop and separation efficiency during pipe transport. Using a recently developed new stirred tank characterization technique for emulsion stability droplet relaxation parameters can be studied. Multiple model oils and crude oils were characterized by this technique. This work discusses development of a pragmatic modeling method that can validate the experimental measurements. A time averaged velocity profile in a stirred tank is used to obtain a 1-D flux flow profile in the vertical direction. This 1-D flux profile is used as a simplified flow equation and scalar equations for droplet size and dispersed phase fraction is used for modeling the emulsion stability and relaxation. This method can help in fast simulation of emulsion stability that involves long time scales of coalesence and breakage evolution for crude oil and water.