Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, Vol.82, No.4, 722-734, 2004
Effects of sand fraction on toluene-diluted heavy oil in water emulsions in turbulent flow
The impact of the presence of sand on emulsification of toluene-diluted heavy oil in simulated process water was systematically studied as a function of agitation time, in a stirred tank. Droplet size distributions were measured by light scattering technique. Optical microscopy and high-speed video micrography were used to visually monitor agitation and emulsion stability. Results showed that the Sauter mean diameters of the droplets decreased with increasing sand content. Droplet breakage followed a first-order kinetic model for all mixing speeds. Plots of droplet volume percent frequency versus droplet size followed lognormal distribution. The distribution span broadened into lower sizes with increased sand content. Emulsions were stable for over 48 h after formation.