31. By-line NMR emulsion droplet sizing

Nicholas N.A. Ling, Agnes Haber, Eric F. May, Einar O. Fridjonsson, Michael L. Johns, Chemical Engineering Science, (2017), 160, 362-369, DOI: 10.1016/j.ces.2016.11.045

By-line Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) measurements of emulsion droplet size distributions are presented based on pulsed field gradient (PFG) measurements. These are performed on temporarily immobilised samples extracted from a main process stream with corrections applied for any temporal variations in sample composition. The overall methodology is initially applied to pure fluids and then a range of water-in-oil emulsions. It is then demonstrated on an emulsification flow loop in which three commercial demulsifiers are separately applied; significant variation in their performance with respect to increasing emulsion droplet size (and thus emulsion destabilisation) is observed. Finally, a more rapid PFG method, Difftrain, is successfully demonstrated with the measured mean emulsion droplet size being used as the input into standard PID control of applied shear and hence the extent of emulsification.