Amirkabir University of Technology- University News
The Use of Ionic Liquids for the Separation of Water from Oil / Pure Quality Oil Export

Clear images and colors  | Post date: 2020/02/1 | 
Researchers at Amirkabir University of Technology have sought to isolate water from oil in order to export quality oil using ionic liquids.
According to Public Relations of AUT, Nastaran Hazrat, a graduate of Applied Chemistry, holding a Ph.D. from Amirkabir University of Technology and a director of the project "Identifying and Applying Ionic Liquids to Improve the Quality of Iranian Crude Oil Export" said: today, many countries, including Iran have encountered severe oil pollution. Such crude oils create many problems for production, transmission and refining, making it a more difficult path to get to petrochemical products.
  The amount of water and sediments is a technical feature of specific crude oil impurities. When extracted from an oil reservoir, the crude oil contains quantities of water and particulate matter from the reservoir formation.
She noted that the presence of emulsion droplets increases viscosity, which can increase the cost of oil transportation. For this reason, it is necessary to completely separate water from crude oil to export quality oil to other countries.
"There are mechanical, thermal and chemical methods for separating water from oil that are being used now, but there are also problems with oil" she said.
This Amirkabir University of Technology graduate, referring to the problem of other methods, said: "Usually in these methods, chemicals are introduced into the oil that affects its quality; or they leave metal in the oil that is not suitable for oil.
  To improve the quality of petroleum and petroleum products, there is a need for advanced knowledge in various fields.
Hazrati said that the knowledge of petroleum additives should be in line with modern day science and technology. New technologies in the field of nanomaterials and ionic liquids have been studied and utilized as developed additives with the least environmental side effects so far in developed countries. The Iranian oil industry also needs to take advantage of these new technologies, which are the result of research activities, in order to grow.
Referring to the method of separating water from exported oil, she said: “the method presented in this paper is using ionic liquids for 2000 ppm in crude oil.
The results show the ability of ionic liquids to reduce IFT even in low salinity and highly stable emulsions.”
Referring to the benefits of using liquids to separate water from oil, the researcher said, "Liquids are good options to counteract the effects of emulsifiers to break down emulsions, because after being added to the emulsion they can migrate to the film between water and oil, reducing interfacial tension and loosening the film.
Hazrati, pointing out the ionic liquids are used in other countries, added: "This method has been used in research scale in the US, Brazil, Canada and so on and has not yet entered the industrial scale. They are also attractive options for harvesting with reduced IFT and chemical and thermal stability and have been extensively studied.”
"The use of ionic liquids as demulsifiers is still at the research stage and boundaries of knowledge," she said.
Researchers are currently looking for better ways to reduce the cost and use of ionic liquids to separate water from oil for high-cost exports.

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