(5d) Hydroclyclone Experiments and Design Equations for Produced Water Desanding Operation

Poletto, M. - Presenter, University of Salerno
Saracino, I., Artes Ingegneria S.p.A.
Barletta, D., University of Salerno
Hydrocyclones are commonly used for liquid solid separations [1] involving high feed flow rates. The advantages of the use of hydrocyclones for the water treatment in oil extraction operations [2] has been proven, such as for example the attainment of produced water for water injection operation [3]. Nevertheless, little information are available in the literature for the design of hydrocyclone desanders related to water-solid system relevant to water treatment in produced water operations.

In this work, we present the experimental results on a series of tests carried out on a purposely-made pilot unit hosting a single hydro cyclone and able to work at water flow rates up to 2.5 L s-1. The setup is able to set independently the feed flow rate and the underflow flow rate. Mixtures of water and Tri-hydrate Alumina particles (1 to 70 μm size) up to 2000 ppm v/v of solid concentrations have been tested. Solid particle density, particle size distribution and shape makes the tested system very similar to real water sand mixtures in produced water desanding operation. These results have been used to find the proper hydrocyclone design equation such as those proposed by Coelho and Medronho [4]. In particular, we have found the proper correlations for the cyclone pressure drops, and the cyclone cut size as a function of the liquid flow rate and the water flow ratio between the underflow and the feed stream.


[1] L. Svarovsky, Introduction to solid-liquid separation, in: Solid-Liquid Sep., Elsevier, 2001: pp. 1–29. doi:10.1016/B978-075064568-3/50025-0.

[2] J.C. Ditria, M.E. Hoyack, The Separation of Solids and Liquids With Hydrocyclone-Based Technology for Water Treatment and Crude Processing, in: SPE Asia Pacific Oil Gas Conf., Society of Petroleum Engineers, 1994. doi:10.2118/28815-MS.

[3] M.S. Choi, Hydrocyclone Produced Water Treatment for Offshore Developments, in: SPE Annu. Tech. Conf. Exhib., Society of Petroleum Engineers, 1990. doi:10.2118/20662-MS.

[4] M.A.. Coelho, R.. Medronho, A model for performance prediction of hydrocyclones, Chem. Eng. J. 84 (2001) 7–14. doi:10.1016/S1385-8947(00)00265-5.