Essay about Emulsion Studies

Essay about Emulsion Studies

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The system of primary interest in this study was water-in-diluted Athabasca bitumen films. Formation of very stable water-in-oil emulsions is a major challenge for recovery of bitumen from oil sand deposits in Alberta-Canada. Emulsion studies 14-17 and works on single emulsion films 18,19 have shown that emulsion and film stability depends on type of solvent and solvent to bitumen (S/B) ratio. Furthermore, it was found that film behavior changes dramatically at so called critical (S/B) ratio 20, which coincides with formation of asphaltenes precipitates in solutions. In our previous work [] we studied the stability of water-in-diluted films as a function of bitumen content at different aromaticity of the solvent. Aromaticity of the solvent was modeled by mixing heptane and toluene at different ratios. In that previous work, we characterized film stability using film lifetimes and rate of thinning. Here we report results for the same system, Athabasca bitumen diluted with toluene and heptane and their mixtures, but film stability is studied by means of electric polarization of single emulsion film.
Critical voltages of film rupture were measured for different solvent mixtures and S/B ratios. For sake of relevance to the industrial applications, electric field was applied on draining films. The effect of film thickness (time of application of ramp potential) on critical voltage is reported. Experimental results are further discussed in relation to mechanism of film rupture and implications to the electro-induced coalescence.
Theoretical background: Effect of DC Polarization on film drainage and stability
Maxwell stress. Let us consider a dielectric layer with thickness h placed in aqueous electrolyte solution considered as ideal ...


... middle of paper ...


... capillary. To hold the oil phase, glass porous plate was converted to hydrophobic by treating it with solution of 20% dichlorodimenthylsilane in cyclohexene []. Electric polarization across the film was applied by means of two platinum electrodes immersed in each compartment filled with aqueous electrolyte solution and connected to high accuracy, wide bandwidth potentiostate. Solartron Analytical 1287. Films were observed in reflected light with inverted microscope - Carl Zeiss Axio Observer. Intensity of the reflected light, required for determination of film thickness, were made with low noise Hamamatsu Si photodiode S8745-01. For image and video registration, high resolution/high sensitivity Leica DFC500 digital camera is used with QWin software for image analysis. More details on interferometric and pressure balance part of the instrument are given elsewhere []

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