A novel criterion based on slip ratio to assess the flow behavior of W/O emulsions within centrifugal pumps

by Natan Augusto Vieira Bulgarelli, Jorge Luiz Biazussi, William Monte Verde, Carlos Eduardo Perles, Marcelo Souza de Castro, Antonio Carlos Bannwart, published at Chemical Engineering Science, January 2022, 117050.


Water-in-oil emulsions usually present complex rheological behavior that depends on the physicochem-ical properties of both phases, the presence of surfactants, and the flow conditions. Thereby, this paperaims to propose a criterion to characterize the rheological behavior of stable and unstable water-in-oil emulsions within the centrifugal pumps. This criterion is based on the slip ratio between the dispersedand continuous phases. For this, the droplet size distribution was measured at the ESP outlet and the slipratio was estimated based on the centrifugal buoyancy-induced flow. A new model was proposed todetermine the Sauter mean diameter for different systems of the water-in-oil emulsion flows withinthe ESP based on operational conditions, which presents good agreement with the experimental data(12.6% of error). Finally, a new dimensionless number parameter named Slip Relevance number was pro-posed to separate the different emulsion flow behaviors within the ESP and its critical value was obtained.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ces.2021.117050

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