Composition measurements of crude oil and process water emulsions using thick-film ultrasonic transducers

Guangtian Meng, A.J. Jaworski, Neil M. White

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47 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an experimental study to investigate the suitability of thick-film ultrasonic transducers for composition measurements in heterogeneous mixtures. Following on from earlier developments [G. Meng, A.J. Jaworski, T. Dyakowski, J.M. Hale, N.M. White, Design and testing of a thick-film dual-modality sensor for composition measurements in heterogeneous mixtures, Meas. Sci. Technol. 16(4) (2005) 942–954], focused on the design and preliminary testing of the transducers for mixtures of vegetable oil and salty water, the current paper looks in more detail into their application to industrially relevant fluids, namely crude oil and process water, which are common in oil and gas extraction and petrochemical industries. The measurements are based on the time-of-flight of the ultrasonic pressure wave in order to obtain the speed of sound. The results, showing the variation of the speed of sound with the volume fraction of crude oil, for three different temperatures, are compared with five theoretical models available in the existing literature. It is shown that the models proposed by Urick [R.J. Urick, A sound velocity method for determining the compressibility of finely divided substances, J. Appl. Phys. 18 (1947) 983–987] and by Kuster and Toksöz [G.T. Kuster, M.N. Toksöz, Velocity and attenuation of seismic waves in two-phase media. Part I. Theoretical formulations, Geophysics 39 (1974) 587–606] provide a relatively accurate prediction for the speed of sound in the media studied. Interestingly, the model developed by Povey and co-workers [V.J. Pinfield, M.J.W. Povey, Thermal scattering must be accounted for in the determination of adiabatic compressibility, J. Phys. Chem. B 101 (1997) 1110–1112] only agrees with experiment when its thermal scattering features are neglected. Overall, the results obtained demonstrate that the slim-line and compact thick-film transducers can be considered as a viable means for the composition measurements in the process conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-391
Number of pages9
JournalChemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification
Issue number5
Early online date30 Nov 2005
Publication statusPublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes


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