Desalting is a water-washing operation performed initially at the production field and thereafter at the refinery site for additional crude oil cleanup. Salt and water content specifications are even more rigid because of their negative effect in downstream processes due to corrosion, and catalyst deactivation. An optimum formulation concept is presented to describe emulsion breaking in desalting process. In the stabilization mechanism is accepted that water droplets are stabilized by the formation of a mechanically strong and viscoelastic film at the interface composed of asphaltenes. In the case of water-in-crude-oil emulsions, a balanced optimum formulation is attained by adding to the lipophilic natural surfactants contained in the crude oil, demulsifiers which are hydrophilic. The aim is to relate the nature and concentration of the added demulsifier products to the amphiphilic mixture at the interface. All formulation parameters, such as solvent, alcohols, kind and concentration of demulsifier, amoung others, can be explained for proportional and saturation regimens.
Part of the book: Advances in Petrochemicals