Crude oil emulsions constitute a major challenge in oil field operations. To resolve this challenge, many researchers have studied crude oil emulsion demulsification patterns in the presence of various demulsifiers. Research is ongoing for discovery of locally sourced biodegradable and inexpensive demulsifiers. The aim of this research is to demusify heavy crude oil emulsion, using locally sourced biodegradable citrus concentrates. The effects of juice concentrates have therefore been studied from three citrus fruit varieties lime, grape and orange on emulsion produced from Basra heavy crude oil. Oil-in-water emulsions were produced from a mixture of heavy crude oil and deionized water in a ratio of 1:100. The mixture was mixed at 13,000 rpm for 5 min. The emulsion formed was mixed with various volumes of juice concentrate (0.05 to 2.0 mL) at 13,000 rpm for 1 min. Demulsification patterns were monitored for a period of 60 min at 5 min interval using the bottle test method. Results show that lime concentrate used at the experimental volumes proved to be an effective demulsifier. Grape concentrate stabilized the emulsion at lower concentrate volumes, but higher volumes resulted in the production of two different emulsions with the less dense emulsion having chocolate colour, showing a typical case of emulsion inversion to water-in-oil (W/O). The orange concentrate caused water in oil emulsion whose stability increased with increasing concentrate volume to be formed. In conclusion, the lime concentrate could be used in breaking crude oil emulsions while the grape and the orange concentrates may be used as emulsifiers in oil spill clean-up or in food and cosmetic Industries.
Key words: Demulsifier, emulsion, emulsifier, grape, lime, orange.
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