The effect of air distribution on the induced air flotation of fine oil in water emulsions

Authors

  • Niel J. M. Van Ham,

    1. Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, The University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
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    • Now with Husky Oil Operations Ltd. Lloydminister. Saskatchewan S9V 0Z8.

  • Leo A. Behie,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, The University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
    • Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, The University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
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  • William Y. Svrcek

    1. Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, The University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
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Abstract

The induced air flotation (IAF) of a highly stabilized oil in water (o/w) emulsion has been studied experimentally in a batch column 10 cm in diameter and 150 cm in height. Column performance was strongly affected by the method of air distribution. The main variables investigated were the type of air distributor (either porous plate, single hole plate, or multi-hole plate), initial oil concentraton (30-600 mg/L), oil drop size distribution of feed (1.0-30 μm), surfactant type, and gas superficial velocity. Results were successfully analyzed in terms of a first order kinetic rate model which yielded a removal rate constant (K1) that varied from 2.0 to 60.0 h−1. Corresponding total organic carbon (TOC) removal efficiencies went from 20 to 99.9 percent, illustrating the wide performance range for the flotation cell.

Abstract

On a étudié expérimentalement la flottation induite par l'air d'une émulsion fortement stabilisée d'huile dans l'eau, dans un colonne discontinue de diamètre 10 cm et de hauteur 150 cm. La performance de la colonne a été fortement influencée par le mode de distribution de l'air. Les principales variables étudiées ont été les suivantes: (a) le type de distributeur d'air (plaque poreuse, plaque à un seul orifice, plaque à orifices multiples); (b) concentration initiale d'huile (30 à 600 mg/l); (c) distribution des dimensions des gouttes d'huile de l'alimentation (1.0 à 30 μm); (d) le type d'agent tensio-actif utilisé et (e) la vitesse superficielle du gaz. On est parvenu à analyser les résultats gra'ce à un modèle cinétique de premier ordre, ce qui a permis d'obtenir une constante (K1) de vitesse de récupération entre 2.0 et 60.0 h−1. Les rendements de récupération du carbone organique total ont varié entre 20% et 99.9%, ce qui illustre la variété considérable des rendements de la cellule de flottation.

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