Evaluation of the Separation of Liquid–Liquid Dispersions by Flow through Fiber Beds

The liquid–liquid model dispersions encompassing four mineral oils of different properties were separated using polyurethane fibers. Experiments were carried out over a wide range of oil properties, bed permeabilities, and fluid velocities. The objective was to introduce multivariate analysis as a statistical method for the estimation of the efficiency of separation of liquid–liquid dispersions by flow through fiber beds. The bed coalescence efficiency was followed by monitoring the changes of critical velocity. On the basis of the principal component analysis, reduced dimensionality and a lower number of variables, an improved statistical treatment of the measurement data was performed. An empirical equation was derived describing the critical velocity as a function of the oil viscosity, interfacial tension, dielectric constant, emulsivity, and bed permeability.