Transparent model oils are commonly used to study the flow patterns and pressure gradient of crude oil-water flow in gathering pipes. However, there are many differences between the model oil and crude oils. The existing literatures focus on the flow pattern transition and pressure gradient calculation of model oils. We compare the two most commonly used model oils (white mineral oil and silicon oil) with Xinjiang crude oil from the perspectives of rheological properties, oil-water interfacial tensions, emulsion photomicrographs and demulsification process.
Our study indicates that both the white mineral oil and the crude oils are pseudo plastic fluids, while silicon oil is a Newtonian fluid. The viscosity-temperature relationship of white mineral oil is similar to that of the diluted crude oil, while the silicon oil presents a lower viscosity gradient with increasing temperature. The oil-water interface tension can be used to evaluate the oil dispersing ability in the water phase, but not to evaluate the emulsion stability. According to the Turbiscan lab and the stability test, the model oil emulsion is less stable than that of crude oil, and easier to present water separation.
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Reference: Jing, J; et al, (2016). Rheological and Emulsification Behavior of Xinjiang Heavy Oil and Model Oils. TOEFJ., DOI: 10.2174/1876973X01609010001