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Title: An experimental investigation of paraffin wax deposition in a batch oscillatory baffled column
Author: Ismail, Lukman
ISNI:       0000 0001 3587 4128
Awarding Body: Heriot-Watt University
Current Institution: Heriot-Watt University
Date of Award: 2007
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Problems related to crystallisation and deposition of paraffin waxes on oil pipelines during production and transportation of crude oil caused huge operational and financial losses to petroleum industry. This study is focused on the fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of wax deposition and investigates the effect of several major parameters on such deposition in a batch oscillatory baffled column (OBC). The OBC is a relatively new mixing technology and offers more unifoml mixing and particle suspension than traditional reactors. It is the intention of this work to characterise the effect of oscillatory mixing on the wax deposition process perhaps as an alternative way for mitigation of wax deposition pro.blems. Experiments have be~n carried out to examine the effects of aBC's operational parameters, wax-oil volume, paraffin wax content, carbon number of the solvents, baffles materials and structure on the wax deposition. Analyses conducted to evaluate and characterise the wax deposition are: the percentage of waX deposition (8, wt.%); the Avrami exponent (n) which c0l!esponds to the type of wax crystals; and the half time of deposition (tl/2) which is associated with the rateof deposition. On the study ofthe effect of OBC's parameters, it was found that increasing the oscillation frequency and amplitude reduced the overall deposition; baffles oscillation altered the type of wax crystal formed from needle type to clustered plate-like shapes; and accelerated the rates of deposition. On the effect of wax-oil volume, it was observed that increasing the volume reduced the deposition, increased n values and tlfl hence reduced the deposition rates. The study on the effect of paraffin wax content revealed that increasing the wax content increased the deposition, reduced n values and caused higher crystallisation rates. On the effect of solvent carbon numbers, it was found that the higher the carbon numbers, the more the deposition, lower n and t1/2. Lastly on the study of baffles materials and structure, it can be deduced that using different baffles materials had no significant impact on the deposition in the OBC. In summary, oscillatory baffled flow can be an effective means of mitigation of wax deposition problems. This work may also lead to a screening test for wax deposition inhibitors. Since the deposition of viscous materials is common to other sectors of the process industries, the results of this study will provide essential information for understanding and perhaps later implementation of the OBC technology in the related fields
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available