Chemical Additives for Separation of Water and Oil in Surface Facilities and Development


In the production of crude oil, the greatest part of the crude oil occurs as a water-in-oil emulsion. The composition of the continuous phase depends on the water/oil ratio, the natural emulsifier systems contained in the oil, and the origin of the emulsion. The natural emulsifiers contained in crude oils have a complex chemical structure, so that, to overcome their effect, petroleumemulsion demulsifiers must be selectively developed. This course studies all chemical and physical specification and properties of chemical additives used in water and oil separation and development of separation processes and all related topics.


This course is designed to discuss water/oil and oil/water emulsions and emulsion breaking and use of chemical additives to enhance the knowledge and abilities of participants to be updated with the most recent technologies of chemical and mechanical separation, and all different types of chemicals used in separation processes.


By the end of the course the participant will be able to:

  • Increase awareness of uses of chemicals as demulsifiers

  • Basic calculations of chemical dosing

  • Change policies, regulations, standards, and management practices to increase efficiency of demulsification

  • Improve education and training of staff in recognition of mechanical and chemical water/oil separation

  • Advance design practices for better water and oil separation technologies and mechanisms of demulsification

  • Performance testing and classification of demulsifiers


  • Introduction
  • Chemistry review
  • Basics of emulsion and emulsion breaking
  • Basic calculation of chemical dosing
  • Emulsion Breaking
  • Oil-In-Water Emulsions
  • Breaking Oil-in-Water Emulsions
  • Treatment Methods
  • Water-In-Oil Emulsions
  • W/O Emulsion Stabilizers
  • Breaking Water-in-Oil Emulsions
  • Hydrocarbon Processing Industry
  • Recovery of Separated Oil
  • Waterflooding
  • Oil Spill Treatment
  • Mechanisms of Demulsification
  • Stabilization of Water-Oil Emulsions
  • Interfacial tension relaxation
  • Performance testing
  • Spreading pressure
  • Characterization by dielectric constant
  • Shaker test method
  • Viscosity measurements
  • Screening
  • Classification of demulsifiers
  • Common precursor chemicals
  • Chemicals in detail

Who Can Benefit?

Engineers and chemists who work in oil fields and refineries Intermediate and high level operators and technicians in oil field and refineries