Electrocoalescence of droplets in electric fields

Desalters and Dehydrators in crude oil refineries are the first equipments which rid the crude oil of any salt. The process involves addition of fresh water to dissolve out salt, and then to subject them to electrocoalescnece under electric fields. The project would look at understanding several interesting obesrvations made by our group in electrocoalescence of two droplets under electric field, as well as coalescence of a water droplet with an oil-water interface. Interesting dependence of this phenomenon on crude and brine conductivities have been observed which defy the present understanding of electrohydrodynamics of conductors in insulating oil systems. The project would involve both experiments and simulations using an in-house Boundary Interal method code and COMSOL Multiphysics.

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Proposing Faculty
Research Area
  • Electrohydrodynamics