The objectives are to study the properties of real/model fluids at laboratory and flow loop scales, including rheometer characterisation. Then, based on this knowledge, make fluids that mimic real crudes that will ensure repeatable flow loop experiments.
The activity will be divided into model and reference fluids. The model fluid activity will aim at designing solid particle suspensions based on commercially available particles. These formulations will be used as models of suspensions encountered in different parts of petroleum industry (for instance hydrates, sand…) As for the reference fluids, they will be designed to give similar bulk and interfacial properties as the true crude oils and their emulsions and they will be formulated from commercially available synthetic oils.
These formulations should be easily up-scaled (up to amounts of 100 kg or so) to be used also in the other project of the FACE consortium - in particular for separation and flow assurance experiment projects
As a partial fulfilment of our goals, a method to determine the sizes of droplets present in flow loops on-line without disturbing the flow is needed. This method would also be very useful in the flow and suspension project framework. Therefore, the project will develop a droplet size analysis method based on the use of pulsed field gradient nuclear magnetic resonance. The technique can also be extended to map sedimentation rates.