Demulsifiers are substances used for emulsion separation.
Typically, these are surface-active compounds or their mixtures in a suitable solvent system. They are special additives for separatingwater-in-oil or oil-in-water emulsions. For this reason, they can be used, inter alia, in the pre-treatment of crude oil, as it usually contains certain amounts of water.
Demulsifiers work fast and efficiently. They reduce the intermolecular forces of fragmented water droplets by modifying the surface tension and polarizing the charges at the phase boundary. The demulsifier particles come into contact with the surface of the emulsified water droplet and the surrounding oil layer. The demulsifier then destroys the surface layer between the oil phase and the water, causing the water molecules to combine and gravitationally fall to the bottom of the tank. Then, the water droplets form a layer, making it easier to separate the water and oil phases from each other. The demulsifier will deliver the expected results when its particles reach all points of contact between water and oil. Demulsifiers should be soluble in water or solvent, which is their carrier. In addition, they should be effective over a wide range of pH and temperature and resistant to oxidizing and reducing agents. Demulsifiers have been used in the pulp and paper industry, metalworking, tanning, textile industry and oil industry.
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