Production Oil Field Chemicals, ECC Demulsifiers
ECC Demulsifiers Alexandria, Egypt
Drilling fluids Production chemicals Solids Control & Waste Management Training


Demulsifiers are speciality chemicals designed for breaking emulsions. They are used for separating water from oil, for example. Demulsifiers are commonly used in the processing of crude oil, where water and salt are removed from the crude oil before refining, to prevent corrosion issues.

Demulsifiers speed up water droplet coalescence by:

  • Decreasing and cancelling out the electrostatic forces of repulsion between water droplets
  • Bringing well-dispersed water droplets closer together through flocculation
  • Decreasing surface tension between the water droplets, speeding up coalescence and formation of bigger droplets thus increasing the speed of separation
There are two types of demulsifiers: oil-soluble demulsifiers and water-soluble demulsifiers. The selection of demulsifier depends on the type of emulsions to be seperated.
Demulsifiers are either injected down hole or in the production manifold, in batches or continuously. It is essential to monitor and optimize the demulsifier performance on a regular basis depending on the field operating conditions.

An emulsion is a stable dispersion of one liquid in a second immiscible liquid, such as milk (fat dispersed in water). 

Crude oil contains natural surfactants which, when mixed with water, can emulsify the water into the oil. The more common type of emulsion is water dispersed in oil, but “reverse” emulsion (oil in water) can also occur. Emulsions raise the bottom sediment and water (BS&W) of oil and are often very viscous.

Emulsification is the process of dispersing one liquid in a second immiscible liquid; the largest groups of emulsifying agents are soaps, detergents, and other surface-active compounds (Surfactants).

In an emulsion, the combined sedimentation and coalescence of emulsified drops of the dispersed phase so that they will settle out of the carrier liquid; this can be accomplished mechanically (in settlers, cyclones, or centrifuges) with or without the aid of chemical additives to increase the surface tension of the droplets. This is known as emulsion breaking.

This diagram shows an emulsion resolution:

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