Liquid-Liquid Coalescers are physical devices designed to enhance gravity separation of a mixture of two liquids that are immiscible, or non-soluble in one another. They do this by increasing the size of the dispersed phase droplets, thereby increasing the settling rate. The coalescing media provides surface area for interception of dispersed droplets. Droplets contact the surface, breaking the interfacial tension between the dispersed and continuous phase liquids, allowing multiple droplets to join forming very large drops or a continuous liquid film. These large drops settle by gravity, as defined by Stokes Law:
Where Vt = Terminal Settling Velocity, ft/s d = Droplet Diameter, microns ΔSG = Specific Gravity Difference between the Continuous and Dispersed phases μ = Continuous Phase Viscosity, Centipoise
The size of a gravity decanter is derived from the terminal settling velocity of a minimum sized droplet and the inertial force imparted to the droplet due to the velocity of the mixture as it flows through the vessel. All droplets larger than the minimum will settle at a higher rate. API Publication uses 150 micron droplets for oil/water systems in refineries. An effective coalescing media will increase the minimum droplet diameter, effectively reducing the required settling time, reducing vessel volume.
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Many different media may be used to promote droplet growth including:
AMACS Coalescing Media is available in a wide range of metallic alloys (ex. 304 SS, 316 SS, Monel, Alloy 20, and Hastelloy) and polymers (ex. Polypropylene, Dacron and Teflon) and Fiberglass. Our applications engineers are happy to assist you in selection of the appropriate coalescing media for your process.
Sincerely Steel Technology
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