2017 Volume 82 Issue 1 Pages 73-84
Steam or hot water injection into the bitumen reservoir leads to the formation of water-in-bitumen emulsions which exhibit higher viscosity compared to the original bitumen; and thereby affects production flow. The understanding of the effect of formation process conditions on the nature of this emulsion could assist in production improvement, design and simulation of post-production separation system. In this work, water was dispersed in bitumen phase at different temperatures (50-180°C) and mixing speeds (11.7-23.3s-1). Emulsification properties such as percentage emulsification (extent of water dispersion into the bitumen), and the particle size of emulsion were analyzed to evaluate the effects of the process conditions. Ultimately, correlations have been presented to predict emulsion properties from the process conditions.