4/16/2019
Separator sizing
Considerations in separator sizes is important during design. The liquid capacity of most separators is sized to provide enough retention time to allow gas bubbles to form and separate out.
Separator design basics
Separators are typically sized by the droplet settling theory or retention time for the liquid phase. For illustration purpose, a general procedure based on retention time appraoch is as follows
1. Estimate overall volume based on the retention time and expected separation performance for each phase, and the major factors needed to be considered include:
Expected perforamance
https://petrowiki.org/Separator_sizing
1/17
4/16/2019
Overall through put
Separator sizing 
Composition of incoming fluids
Intensity of emulsion
Retention time of each individal phase
Types of vessel and internals
levels and alarms
2. Determination of gas crosssectional area based on settling theory or empirical correlations, and the other factors include
Expected liquid carryover rate
Avialable mist eliminator
Mean velocity of gas flow
3. Determine oil crosssectional area based on settling theory or empirical correlations by following similar procedure in Steps 1 and 2.
4. Determine water crosssectional area based on settling theory or empirical correlations by following similar procedure in Steps 1 and 2.
5. Determine vessel diameter based on crosssectional area for each phase
6. Determine vessel length to meet the required retention time for all phases
7. Select inlet device and iterate.
8. Evaluation of separation performance for a specific
Settling theory
In gravity settling, the dispersed drops/bubbles will settle at a velocity determined by equating the gravity force on the drop/bubble with the drag force caused by its motion relative to the continuous phase.
In horizontal vessels, a simple ballistic model can be used to determine a relationship between vessel length and diameter. In vertical vessels, settling theory results in a relation for the vessel diameter.
Horizontal separators
Droplet settling theory, using a ballistic model, results in the relationship shown in Eq. 1. For liquid drops in gas phase
where
= vessel internal diameter, in.
d
_{m} = drop diameter, μm
d
_{g} = gasphase space height, in.
_{g} = fractional gas crosssectional area
_{e}_{f}_{f} = effective length of the vessel where separation occurs, ft
= operating temperature, °R
h
F
L
T
(1)
https://petrowiki.org/Separator_sizing
2/17
4/16/2019
Q
g
= gas flow rate, MMscf/D

P 
= operating pressure, psia 

Z 
= gas compressibility 

ρ _{l} = liquid density, lbm/ft ^{3} 


ρ _{g} = gas density, lbm/ft ^{3} 


C 
_{D} = drag coefficient. (See below for calculation) 
For bubbles or liquid drops in liquid phase:
where

d _{m} = bubble or drop diameter, μm 


h _{c} = continuous liquidphase space height, in. 


F _{c} = fractional continuousphase crosssectional area 


ρ _{d} = dispersed liquidphase density, lbm/ft ^{3} 


ρ _{c} = continuous liquidphase density, lbm/ft ^{3} 


Q 
_{c} = continuous liquidphase flow rate, B/D. 
Separator sizing 
(2)
For low Reynolds number flow, Eq. 3 can be further reduced to
where
(3)
t _{r}_{c} = continuousphase retention time, minutes
μ _{c} = continuousphase dynamic viscosity, cp
Δγ = specific gravity difference (heavy/light) of continuous and dispersed phases.
Vertical vessels
Settling theory results in the following relationship. For liquid drops in gas phase,
For bubbles or liquid drops in liquid phase,
Assuming low Reynolds number flow, Eq. 5 can be further reduced to
https://petrowiki.org/Separator_sizing
(5)
(4)
3/17
(6)
Separator sizing 
Drop/bubble sizes
If drop or bubble removal is being used for sizing, consult Table 1 for guidelines. Sizing the water phase by oildrop removal is usually not effective. The water effluent quality is more likely dictated by the added chemicals. Hence, the waterphase volume is typically determined by a retention time, based on experience.
Table 1
The oil drops to be removed from the gas stream also depend upon the downstream equipment. Flare scrubbers are typically designed for removal of drops that are a few hundred microns in size.
Retention time
Horizontal vessels
The relationship of vessel diameter and length is given by Eq. 7.
where
(7)
t _{r}_{o} = oil retention time, minutes
t _{r}_{w} = waterretention time, minutes
Q _{o} = oil flow rate, B/D
Q _{w} = water flow rate, B/D
F _{l} = fraction of vessel crosssectional area filled by liquid.
Vertical vessels
https://petrowiki.org/Separator_sizing
4/17
Similarly for vertical vessels, the relationship of vessel diameter and liquid pad heights is given by Eq. 8.
4/16/2019
Separator sizing 
where
h _{o} = oil pad height, in.
h _{w} = water pad height, in.
(8)
Demister sizing
As discussed previously, many types of demisters are limited by a maximum velocity given by
where
(9)
K _{d} = demister capacity factor, ft/sec and depends upon the demister type
V _{m} = maximum velocity, ft/sec
ρ _{L} = liquid density, lbm/ft ^{3}
ρ _{g} = gas density, lbm/ft ^{3}
For horizontal vessels, the required demister area (A _{d} ) is given by
(11)
(10)
For vertical vessels, Eq. 11 is also valid. The vessel diameter is then obtained as
(12)
For demisters (horizontal or vertical vessels) sealed in a gas box, in addition to the demister area, some height must be maintained between the bottom of the demister and the highest liquid level for the demister to drain. A pressure drop exists across the demister. If the liquid level is too high, the demister will not drain, and liquid siphoning can occur. A small hole is sometimes drilled into the drainpipe as a siphon breaker.
https://petrowiki.org/Separator_sizing
5/17
When using settling theory or demister sizing in horizontal vessels, one should also consider the gas velocity for reentrainment. Too high of a gas velocity will result in liquid reentrainment
4/16/2019
Separator sizing 
from the liquid surface, which may flood the demister and cause carryover. Typical gas velocities for reentrainment are shown in Table 2.
Table 2
Seam to seam length
Horizontal Vessels
The seamtoseam length, Lss, for the horizontal vessel should be determined from the geometry once a diameter and effective length have been determined. Length must be allotted for inlet devices, gas demisters, and coalescers. For screening purposes, the following approximations can be used.
(13)
The ratio of length to diameter is typically in the 3 to 5 range.
Vertical vessels
The seamtoseam length of the vertical vessel should be determined from the geometry, once a diameter and height of liquid volume are known. Allowance must be made for:
the inlet nozzle
space above the liquid level
gas separation section
mist extractor
for any space below the water outlet as shown in Fig. 1
https://petrowiki.org/Separator_sizing
6/17
Fig. 1—Approximate shell length for vertical vessels (courtesy of CDS Separation Technologies Inc.).
Separator sizing 
For screening purposes, the following approximations can be used, where d is the vessel diameter).
(14)
The ratio of height to diameter is typically in the 3 to 5 range for twophase separators. For threephase separators, the ratio is in the 1.5 to 3 range.
Additional consideration should be given for installation of the internals as well as manway access. In glycol dehydration towers, a manway is typically installed above the packing/trays and the demister. Access space must be allotted for installation of the equipment.
Nozzle sizing
Nozzles are generally sized by momentum or velocities. Table 3 gives guidelines that can be used for sizing nozzles, where ρ _{m} is the bulk density and V _{m} the bulk velocity.
https://petrowiki.org/Separator_sizing
7/17
Table 3
Separator sizing 
In addition, the API RP14E ^{[}^{1}^{]} on erosion velocity should be included. This relationship is also given by an inlet momentum criterion as ρ _{m} V _{m} ^{2} = C ^{2} , where C is given as 100 for continuous service and 125 for intermittent service. The value of C can also vary with pipe material, solids loading, and service. See the chapter on Piping and Pipelines in this section of the Handbook. Vortex breakers are generally required on the liquid outlets. These are typically perpendicular plates, as shown in Fig. 2.
Fig. 2—Typical vortex breaker (courtesy of CDS Separation Technologies Inc.).
Examples of separator sizing
Example 1: vertical twophase separator with a mesh pad demister given values
The given values for Example 1 are listed next.
https://petrowiki.org/Separator_sizing
8/17
Gas rate 4/16/2019 
10 MMscf/D 

Gas specific gravity 
0.6 

Gas zfactor 
0.84 

Gas density 
3.7 lbm/ft3 

Oil rate 
2,000 B/D 

Oil density 
50 lbm/ft3 

Operating pressure 
1,000 psia 

Operating temperature 
60°F 

OperMesh pad Kfactor 
0.35 ft/sec 

Mesh pad thickness 
6 
in. 
Liquidretention time 
1 
minute 
Inlet nozzle 
4 
in. 
Separator sizing 
Step 1. Calculate the required meshpad area with Eq. 10. This mesh area will result in a vessel internal diameter of 15 in.
Step 2. Calculate the height for liquid retention time with Eq. 2.13. h _{o} = 74 in.
Step 3. Compute seamtoseam length with Eq. 9.
The L _{e}_{f}_{f} /D (D = d/12) is 9.2 and is larger than the typical 3 to 5 range. Therefore, the internal diameter must be increased to reduce the L _{e}_{f}_{f} /D ratio. Table 4 shows L _{e}_{f}_{f} /D for three different vessel IDs. A 24in. ID vessel has the appropriate Leff/D ratio. The selected vessel would then be 24 in. × 8 ft SS tall (after rounding up the height).
Table 4
The mesh pad can be installed in two ways, if the 1.15 ft 2 is to be maintained. One, a fulldiameter mesh pad can be installed with a blanking annular plate on top. Two, a cylindrical box with a 15in. diameter can be installed around the gas outlet.
Example 2: Horizontal two phase separator
Size a horizontal separator to remove 100 μm drops in the gas phase.
https://petrowiki.org/Separator_sizing
9/17
Given Values. The given values for Example 2 are listed next:
4/16/2019
Separator sizing 
Gas rate 
10 MMscf/D 

Gas specific gravity 
0.6 

Gas zfactor 
0.84 

Gas density 
3.7 lbm/ft ^{3} 

Gas viscosity 
0.012 cp 

Oil rate 
2,000 B/D 

Oil density 
50 lbm/ft ^{3} 

Operating pressure 
1,000 psia 

Operating temperature 
60°F 

Mesh pad Kfactor 
0.35 ft/sec 

Mesh pad thickness 
6 
in. 
Liquid retention time 
1 
minute 
Inlet nozzle 
4 
in. 
Vessel fill 
50% (Therefore, Fg = 0.5 and hg = 0.5d.) 
Step 1. Calculate vessel diameter and length with Eq. 1 for gas capacity.
Assume h _{g} = 0.5 d so that F _{g} = 0.5.
(16)
(15)
From Appendix A, using a gas viscosity of 0.012 cp, CD = 1.42.
(18)
(17)
Step 2. Calculate Leff and Lss = Leff + d/12 for different values of d.
Step 3. Calculate the vessel diameter and length for liquid retention time with Eq. 7.
https://petrowiki.org/Separator_sizing
10/17
Step 4. Calculate Leff and Lss = Leff + d/12 for different values of d.
4/16/2019
Separator sizing 
Step 5. Select vessel that satisfies both gas and liquid capacity.
A comparison of Tables 5 and 6 shows that the liquid capacity is the dominant parameter. Hence, a 24in. × 6.6ft vessel is sufficient, as it has a slenderness ratio within the typical 3 to 5 range. This size should be rounded up to 24 in. × 7 ft.
Table 5
Table 6
Example 3: Vertical three phase separator
Given values. The given values for Example 3 are listed next:
Gas rate 
5 MMscf/D 

Gas specific gravity 
0.6 

Gas zfactor 
0.84 

Gas density 
3.7 lbm/ft ^{3} 

Oil rate 
5,000 B/D 

Oil density 
50 
lbm/ft ^{3} 
Oil viscosity 
10 
cp 
Water rate 
3,000 B/D 

Water density 
66.8 lbm/ft ^{3} 

Operating pressure 
1,000 psia 

Operating temperature 
60°F 

Liquidretention time 
10 
minutes each phase 
Inlet nozzle 
12 
in. 
Drop removal from gas 
100 μm 
Step 1. Calculate vessel diameter based on gas capacity from Eq. 4.
https://petrowiki.org/Separator_sizing
11/17
From the previous example:
(20)
(19)
Separator sizing 

(21) 


(22) 

Step 2. Calculate the vessel diameter based on water drop removal from Eq. 6 for a 500μm drop. 


(23) 
(24)
At this point, we know that the waterdrop removal is the dominant sizing parameter in comparison to the gas capacity.
Step 3. Calculate liquid levels for retention time based on Eq. 8.
Table 7 shows liquid levels for different vessel diameters.
Table 7
(25)
Step 4. Calculate vessel height from Eq. 13. Vales for Lss are given in Table 8. Values for 12 Lss /d should be in the 1.5 to 3 range.
https://petrowiki.org/Separator_sizing
12/17
Table 8
Separator sizing 
Step 5. Select a vessel size that satisfies gas capacity, waterdrop removal, and liquidretention time requirements. An 84in. × 13.4ft separator satisfies the requirements, so you would round up to an 84in. × 13.5ft vessel. Similarly, a 90in. × 12.5ft separator would also be satisfactory.
Drag coefficients
The balance of drag and buoyancy is given as
where
V _{T}
C _{D} = drag coefficient of drop/bubble;
= terminal velocity, cm/sec;
^{ρ}
ρ
g
c
d
= continuous phase density, g/cm ^{3} ;
= dispersed phase density, g/cm ^{3} ;
= gravitational constant, 981 cm/sec ^{2} ;
and 

d _{v} 
= dispersed phase drop/bubble size, cm. 
Eq.26 can be rewritten as
where
μ
c
= continuous phase viscosity, g/(cm/sec) = poise,
https://petrowiki.org/Separator_sizing
(26)
(27)
13/17
Re
4/16/2019
Reynolds number, V _{T} d _{v} ρ _{c} /μ _{c} ,
=
and 

Ar 
= Archimedes number. 
Separator sizing 
The drag coefficient is a function of the Reynolds number, Re, and is given by a curvefit of data (up to a Reynolds number of 5,000) from Perry’s Chemical Engineers’ Handbook. ^{[}^{2}^{]}
(28)
The form of Eq. 28 was chosen to allow for an easy solution of Eq. 28 for the Reynolds number as outlined by Darby in Darby ^{[}^{3}^{]} .
(29)
The procedure then to calculate the drag coefficient is to calculate the Archimedes number, Ar, as defined in Eq. 27; solve Eq. 29 for the Reynolds number, Re; and solve Eq. 28 for the drag coefficient, C _{D} .
Nomenclature
A _{d} 
= required demister area 

C 
= 
API RP14E erosion constant, (lbm/ftsec ^{2} ) ^{1}^{/}^{2} 
C _{D} = drag coefficient (see Appendix A for calculation)
d 
= 
vessel internal diameter, in. 
d _{h} 
= hydraulic diameter, in. (or consistent units for Eq. 11) 

d _{m} 
= bubble or drop diameter, μm 
d _{p}_{p} = perpendicular spacing of plates, m
D 
= 
vessel diameter, ft 
F _{c} 
= fractional continuousphase crosssectional area 

F _{g} 
= fractional gas crosssectional area 

F _{l} 
= fraction of vessel crosssectional area filled by liquid 

h 
= 
liquid height, in. 
h _{c} 
= continuous liquidphase space height, in. 

h _{g} 
= gasphase space height, in. 

h _{o} 
= oil pad height, in. 

h _{w} 
= water pad height, in. 

K 
= 
mesh capacity factor, m/s or ft/sec 
L _{e}_{f}_{f} = effective length of the vessel where separation occurs, ft
L _{s}_{s} = seamtoseam vessel length, ft
P
Q _{c}
^{Q}
= operating pressure, psia
= continuous liquidphase flow rate, B/D
g
= gas flow rate, MMscf/D
https://petrowiki.org/Separator_sizing
14/17
Q
Q _{w} = water flow rate, B/D
Re
T
t _{r}_{c}
t _{r}_{o}
t _{r}_{w} = waterretention time, minutes
o
4/16/2019
= oil flow rate, B/D
= Reynolds number
= operating temperature, °R = continuousphase retention time, minutes
= oilretention time, minutes
Separator sizing 
V 
= bulk velocity, m/sec 
V _{c} 
= continuousphase velocity, m/s (or consistent units for Eq. 11 ) 
Z 
= gas compressibility 
α 
= inclination angle, degrees 
Δγ 
= specific gravity difference (heavy/light) of continuous and dispersed phases 
μ _{c} 
= continuous phase dynamic viscosity, cp 
π 
= constant, 3.14159 
ρ 
= density, kg/m ^{3} or lbm/ft ^{3} 
^{ρ}
^{ρ}
^{ρ}
^{ρ}
^{ρ}
ρ
= water density, kg/m ^{3} or lbm/ft ^{3} = Archimedes number
C _{D} = drag coefficient of drop/bubble
Ar
^{ρ}
= liquid density, kg/m ^{3} or lbm/ft ^{3}
= bulk density, kg/m ^{3} or lbm/ft ^{3}
= continuous liquidphase density, kg/m ^{3} or lbm/ft ^{3}
= dispersed liquidphase density, kg/m ^{3} or lbm/ft ^{3}
= gas density, kg/m ^{3} or lbm/ft ^{3}
= oil density, kg/m ^{3} or lbm/ft ^{3}
m
c
d
g
l
o
w
d _{v} 
= dispersed phase drop/bubble size, cm 
g 
= gravitational constant, 981 cm/sec ^{2} 
Re 
= Reynolds number, VTdvρc/μc 
V _{T} 
= terminal velocity, cm/sec 
μ
ρ
ρ
_{c}
_{c}
_{d}
= continuous phase viscosity, g/(cm/sec) = poise
= continuous phase density, g/cm3
= dispersed phase density, g/cm3
Subscripts
m = bulk properties
References
https://petrowiki.org/Separator_sizing
15/17
↑ API RP14E, Recommended Practice for Design and Installation of Offshore Production Platform Piping Systems, fifth edition. 1991. Washington, DC: API.
1.
4/16/2019
Separator sizing 
2. ↑ Perry, R.H. and Green, D.W. 1984. Perry’s Chemical Engineers’ Handbook, fifth edition, 566. New York City: McGrawHill Book Co.
3. ↑ Darby, R. 1996. Determining Settling Rates of Particles. Chemical Engineering (December): 109.
Noteworthy papers in OnePetro
Olotu, C.O. and Osisanya, S. 2013. Development of a User Friendly Computer Program for Designing Conventional Oilfield Separators. SPE167578MS Presented at the SPE Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition, Lagos, Nigeria, 57 August. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/167578MS (http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/167578MS).
Laleh, A.P., Svrcek, W.Y. and Monnery, W. 2013. Computational Fluid DynamicsBased Study of an Oilfield SeparatorPart II: An Optimum Design. Oil and Gas Fac. 2 (1): 5259. SPE 161036PA. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/161036PA (http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/161036PA).
External links
Use this section to provide links to relevant material on websites other than PetroWiki and OnePetro
See also
Category
Categories (/Special:Categories): 4.1.2 Separation and treating (/Category:4.1.2_Separation_and_treating)
https://petrowiki.org/Separator_sizing
17/17
Mult mai mult decât documente.
Descoperiți tot ce are Scribd de oferit, inclusiv cărți și cărți audio de la editori majori.
Anulați oricând.