Numerical Study of Oil/Water Separation by Ceramic Membranes in the Presence of Turbulent Flow


Disposal of produced water during petroleum extraction causes serious environmental damage, hence the need to complete the water treatment before being disposed to environment within the criteria set established by environmental agencies in the countries. Ceramics membranes have been highlighted as a good device for separating oil/water. These act as a barrier to oil in the aqueous stream, because their essential properties for filtration, such as chemical inertness, biological stability and resistance to high temperatures. The limitation of the separation process is the decay of permeate flux during operation, due to concentration polarization and fouling. In this sense, this paper aims to evaluate numerically the feasibility of the process of separating oil/water by means of ceramic membranes in the presence of a turbulent flow induced by a tangential inlet. The results of the velocity, pressure and volumetric fraction distributions for the simulations different by varying the mass flow rate inlet and different geometric characteristics of the membrane are presented and analyzed.

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Saraiva de Souza, J. , Mota Vieira, T. , Santos Barbosa, E. , de Lima Cunha, A. , Rodrigues de Farias Neto, S. and Gilson Barbosa de Lima, A. (2012) Numerical Study of Oil/Water Separation by Ceramic Membranes in the Presence of Turbulent Flow. Advances in Chemical Engineering and Science, 2, 257-265. doi: 10.4236/aces.2012.22030.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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