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Difficult Liquid-Liquid Emulsifications in the Chemical Industry are Effectively Separated Using Versatile Coalescers
Certain liquid-liquid mixtures can be difficult to separate without compromising on the end result due to contaminant buildup. Pall’s PhaseSep® Coalescer offers a low-cost solution to effectively separate liquid-liquid emulsions.
The oil, gas, and chemical industries rely on coalescers to prevent the costly problem of liquid contamination due to emulsions and dispersions. Excessive liquid emulsification can lead to off-specification of final products, disabling of downstream catalysts, corrosion of downstream storage facilities, and raise the costs of wastewater treatment. Coalescers separate liquid emulsions by using porous mediums that filter the liquids based on their unique interfacial tensions, causing different rates of wetting.
However, several issues arise while using traditional glass-fiber coalescers, including the ability to separate large amounts of surfacants and to be versatile enough for compatibility with a range of different kinds of liquids. Determining factors in how easily two liquids can be separated include the gravity, viscosity, and interfacial tension (IFT) of the liquids. Traditional coalescers tend to be unable to effectively separate liquids with lower IFT numbers. Additionally, compatibility of the liquids with the coalescer medium must be taken into account.
Cartridge coalescers made of polymeric material, such as Pall’s PhaseSep coalescer, have the ability to be processed into fine fibers of different diameters, improving surface properties and increasing productivity. Pall’s PhaseSep® coalescer offers a range of high efficiency mediums for versatility with any liquid emulsion that requires separation. The PhaseSep system contains either a one-stage or two-stage coalescer, preceded by a prefiltration process. Prefiltration is important because it protects the coalescer from downstream damage, extending the life of the unit. It also reduces the concentration of particles and lowers the stability of the liquid emulsion, easing the separation.
The PhaseSep coalescer stack can be set up either vertically or horizontally. The vertical setup uses both a coalescer and a separator and is ideal for separating emulsions in an aqueous liquid, caustic emulsions, emulsions in an amine solution, and when the IFT is greater than 3.0 dyne/cm. The horizontal setup uses only a coalescer, not a separator, and is optimal for use with non-aqueous liquids, such as oil and water separation, and liquids with ultra-low IFTs.
Separation using Pall’s PhaseSep coalescer improves fluid quality, saving costs from reprocessing, downgrade, and transportation. The long life of the PhaseSep system reduces overall operating costs, as well. The system requires few separator cartridges due to high rate of flow, reducing maintenance needs and saving laboratory space.
Pall’s PhaseSep coalescer provides efficient and economical separation of difficult liquid emulsions.
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