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Separation of oil/water emulsions in continuous flow using microwave heating

Binner, Eleanor; Robinson, John P.; Kingman, S.W.; Lester, Edward; Azzopardi, Barry J.; Dimitrakis, Georgios; Briggs, John

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John P. Robinson

Pro-Vice Chancellor Faculty of Engineering

Barry J. Azzopardi

John Briggs


This work studies a continuous flow microwave system to enhance gravity settling of water-in-oil emulsions. Settling times were found to be dependent upon the applied power, flowrate and energy input. Power and energy input are linked to liquid flowrate within the flow system used in this study, so a key objective of this work was to understand the effect of turbulence on the heating and separation of the flowing emulsion. At high flowrates (9 – 12 L/min) it was found that turbulence dominates, with settling times largely independent of energy input. At lower flowrates (1 - 6 L/min), when turbulence was decreased, it was found that the settling time decreased as the power density was increased. Settling times have the potential to be less than half that of untreated emulsions, and can be reduced further if turbulence can be minimised between the microwave heating zone and the settling zone in the process equipment.


Binner, E., Robinson, J. P., Kingman, S., Lester, E., Azzopardi, B. J., Dimitrakis, G., & Briggs, J. (2013). Separation of oil/water emulsions in continuous flow using microwave heating. Energy and Fuels, 27(6),

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 24, 2013
Deposit Date Feb 24, 2016
Publicly Available Date Feb 24, 2016
Journal Energy and Fuels
Print ISSN 0887-0624
Electronic ISSN 1520-5029
Publisher American Chemical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 6
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This document is the unedited author's version of a Submitted Work that was subsequently accepted for publication in Energy and Fuels, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review.


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