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Study of the influence of commercial emulsion breakers on the water/ oil interfacial properties. interfacial tension and viscoelastic properties of the interfacial film

Grant number: 20/08495-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2020
Effective date (End): June 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Mechanical Engineering
Acordo de Cooperação: Equinor (former Statoil)
Principal Investigator:Antonio Carlos Bannwart
Grantee:Isabella Genesini Freitas
Host Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia Mecânica (FEM). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Host Company:Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Faculdade de Engenharia Mecânica (FEM)
Associated research grant:17/15736-3 - Engineering Research Centre in Reservoir and Production Management, AP.PCPE


The aim of this research project is to study how commercial emulsion breakers affect the interfacial properties of water/ oil systems. For that, the studies will be focused on the properties of the interface such as interfacial tension, dilational and shear viscoelastic behavior. The characteristics of the interfacial film will be analyzed along with the results from kinetic studies of phase separation with emulsion breakers. The tension and rheological studies of the interface will be performed by using a Spinning drop Tensiometer (Dataphysics SVT-20N) and an interfacial rheology accessory for a rotational rheometer (Haake, Mars III). Each rheological system aims to getting different properties of the interface. The dilational technique provides information about the response of the system when the interfacial area is changed, i.e., the kinetics in which the system acts to bring the interface back to the equilibrium condition. On the other side, in the shear technique the interfacial area is kept constant and the mechanical properties of the interface are probed. Emulsion breakers can act by affecting the viscoelastic properties of the interfacial film built up of crude oil components with surface active properties, such as asphaltenes, resins and naphtenic acids. Thus, the focus of this research proposal is to investigate how emulsion breakers acts on the formation and establishment of the interfacial film and the relationship between the film physic-chemical properties and the efficiency of the emulsion breaker, looking for a microscopic understanding of the phase separation phenomenon of water/ oil emulsions induced by emulsion breakers. (AU)

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