Destruction of water-in-oil emulsion in electromagnetic fields

 Liana Kovaleva, Rasul Zinnatullin, Almir Mullayanov


Discovery of destruction mechanisms of water-in-oil emulsions in radio-frequency and microwave electromagnetic fields

Sample 1 Sample 2
Before RF irradiation
After RF irradiation



In water-in-oil emulsions oil high-molecular components are adsorbed on the surface of water droplets, which results in formation of a so-called armored shell that prevents coalescence and precipitation of drops. The problem of the destruction of water-in-oil emulsions occurs in technological processes of the oil industry in the extraction, treatment, processing, and transportation of oil, as well as in the processing of oil sludge. Existing methods for the destruction of water-in-oil emulsions are not sufficiently effective.


Radio-frequency (RF) electromagnetic field

A radio-frequency (RF) electromagnetic field acts directly on the polar oil components and destroys armored shell of water droplets. This causes coagulation of the droplets and further destruction of the emulsion. The RF irradiation is the most efficient when the frequency of the applied electromagnetic field coincides with the natural frequency of polar oil components.

Under the influence of a RF electromagnetic field aggregates of droplets in the form of chains are formed, which coalesce to larger drops and results in phase separation of the emulsion.


After MW irradiation, rate of flow is 2 cm/sec After MW irradiation, rate of flow is 4 cm/sec

Microwave (MW) electromagnetic field

A microwave electromagnetic field acts directly on the water molecules in a very narrow frequency range. However, the use of a microwave electromagnetic field can reduce the droplet size, which leads to formation of a more stable emulsion. To prevent the negative effects of microwave electromagnetic radiation it is proposed to apply the MW electromagnetic filed in the dynamic mode (at certain emulsion flow rates).


Development of practical recommendations for selection of optimal parameters for water-in-oil emulsion dehydration and oil sludge disposal technologies