CFD Analysis of Horizontal Electrostatic Desalter- Influence of Header Obstruction Plate Design on Crude-Water Separation
This paper attempts to design a horizontal electrostatic desalter to study the flow profile of crude in horizontal desalter. The presence of salt in the crude oil is a problem to the refineries. It caused increased corrosion and will cause increased fouling of equipment and hinder certain chemical & physical reactions. Since the salt present in the oil is contained in the water phase, the removal of salt and water simultaneously by electrostatic oil dehydration is simple solution.Liquid flow behaviour, such as velocity distribution, in the electrostatic desalter is of considerable importance in determining desalter performance. Using the volume-averaged method, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model was proposed to describe the liquid flow behaviour in a structured electrostatic desalter. The values of the geometrical parameters and operation Reynolds number that mark the transitions of flow regime in the Desalter are reported, and the impact of the geometry on such transitions is analysed. Variations in desalter design have been done to analyse the change in crude flow. The proposed study of flow in a desalter has been done in Fluent.
Keywords: Electrostatic Desalter, Mixing, Turbulent flow, Fluid Mechanics, Gambit, Fluent, CFD